In connection with the proclamation of the message in large cities, there are many kinds of work to be done by labourers with varied gifts. Some are to labour in one way, some in another. The Lord desires that the cities shall be worked by the united efforts of labourers of different capabilities. All are to look to Jesus for direction, not depending on man for wisdom, lest they be led astray. As labourers together with God they should seek to be in harmony with one another. There should be frequent councils and earnest, wholehearted co-operation. Yet all are to look to Jesus for wisdom, not depending upon men alone for direction. 9T 109
The Lord has given to some ministers the ability to gather and to hold large congregations. This calls for the exercise of tact and skill. In the cities of today, where there is so much to attract and please, the people can be interested by no ordinary efforts. Ministers of God's appointment will find it necessary to put forth extraordinary efforts in order to arrest the attention of the multitudes. And when they succeed in bringing together a large number of people they must bear messages of a character so out of the usual order that the people will be aroused and warned. They must make use of every means that can possibly be devised for causing the truth to stand out clearly and distinctly. The testing message for this time is to be borne so plainly and decidedly as to startle the hearers and lead them to desire to study the Scriptures. 9T 109
God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the powers and faculties given to man. AA 482
Health is a blessing of which few appreciate the value; yet upon it the efficiency of our mental and physical powers largely depends. Our impulses and passions have their seat in the body, and it must be kept in the best condition physically and under the most spiritual influences in order that our talents may be put to the highest use. COL 346
The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfil our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power, is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man. DA 209
I have borne abundant testimony, setting forth the fact that the ability to write a book, is, like every other talent, a gift from God, for which the possessor is accountable to him. This talent no man can buy or sell without incurring great and dangerous responsibility. Those who labour to bring about changes in the publication of books, to place the books wholly under the control of the publishing houses or the Conference, know not what they are talking about. Their eyes are blinded, and they work from a wrong standpoint. Selfishness is a root of bitterness whereby many are defiled. PH080 38
There is a work to be done by living human agencies, which they are slow to comprehend. They need to study the Scriptures, to search the Bible, with humble, teachable minds, that they may know their place in the work, and not move haphazard, but fall into line, keeping step with Jesus. "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Every talent with which God has endowed the human agent is now to be awakened, to be employed, not solely in worldly transactions, to buy and sell and get gain, not to use your God-given powers selfishly, greedily to make a place for yourself in the earth; no, you want now to consecrate every entrusted talent of means and ability, having yourself under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Not a word is to be spoken unadvisedly, to stir up the elements of opposition; not an action entered into to create any deeper enmity than exists in the hearts of the enemies of truth; and, moving with well-balanced minds, holding aloft the banner of truth, grace from God will be given, wisdom will be imparted, and angels of God will be commissioned to minister unto all who walk in humility of mind, trustingly accepting the truth as it is revealed, standing by their colours, but not creating persecution by unwise actions, but moving in the footsteps of Jesus. "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." PH084 20
The people go to church, listen to the sermon, pay their tithes, make their offerings, and do very little else. And why?--Because the ministers do not open their plans to the people, soliciting the benefit of their advice and counsel in planning and their help in executing the plans that they have had a part in forming.
Neither Conference officer nor minister has a call from God to indulge distrust of God's power to use every individual who is considered a worthy member of the church. This cautiousness, so-called, is retarding almost every line of the Lord's work. God can and will use those who have not had a thorough education in the schools of men. A doubt of his power to do this is manifest unbelief; it is limiting the Omnipotent power of the One with whom nothing is impossible. O for less of this unsanctified, distrustful caution! It leaves so many forces of the church unused; it closes up the way so that the Holy Spirit cannot use men; it keeps in idleness those who are willing and anxious to labour in Christ's lines; it discourages many from entering the work who would become efficient labourers together with God if they were given a fair chance.... It is the lack of spiritual exercise that makes church-members so weak and inefficient; but again I would ask, Who is to blame for the state of things that now exists?
God has given "to every man his work." Why is it that ministers and Conference officers do not recognise this fact? Why do they not manifest their appreciation of the help that individual members of the church could give? 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. If ministers and men in positions of authority will get out of the way, and let the Holy Spirit move upon the minds of the lay brethren, God will direct them what to do for the honour of his name. 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. If those who now occupy positions of responsibility had been kept at one class of work year after year, their talents would not have developed, and they would not have been qualified for the positions they hold; and yet they make no special effort to test and develop the talents of those newly come into the faith.
Women who are willing to consecrate some of their time to the service of the Lord should be appointed to visit the sick, look after the young, and minister to the necessities of the poor. They should be set apart to this work by prayer and laying on of hands. In some cases they will need to counsel with the church officers or the minister; but if they are devoted women, maintaining a vital connection with God, they will be a power for good in the church. This is another means of strengthening and building up the church. We need to branch out more in our methods of labour. Not a hand should be bound, not a soul discouraged, not a voice should be hushed; let every individual labour, privately or publicly, to help forward this grand work. Place the burdens upon men and women of the church, that they may grow by reason of the exercise, and thus become effective agents in the hand of the Lord for the enlightenment of those who sit in darkness. RH JUL.09,1895
There is a wide difference between what God has given men capacity to become, and the degree of excellence to which they actually attain. If it were considered a duty to cultivate all our powers to the fullest extent, they could be continually increasing. The Bible teaches men to act from principle; and whenever we successfully resist evil influence, we are strengthening that principle which has been assailed. The mere possession of talent is no guarantee of usefulness or happiness in life. Right principles are the only basis of true success. RH SEP.25,1883
God has endowed men with reason and with intellectual faculties, but if these are untrained, left uncultivated, men will become like the savage heathen. The mind must be cultivated, and it is necessary that teachers present line upon line and precept upon precept, guiding and training the free-will moral agent so that he shall understand what it is to co-operate with God. ST FEB.12,1894
Self must die. All success and honour must be accredited to Him who has died that we might live. Christ must be inscribed upon our banners. How slow we are to understand that God requires the service of our whole heart, an unreserved consecration of all the powers of our being. He claims all there is of us. All that mortal man can render of service in any direction, must be devoted to the work of Christ, if we would meet the requirement of God.
[b.9]Your talent has been intrusted to you by the Lord, and you will be held responsible for its employment and improvement. It is the design of the Giver that it shall be used in accordance with his divine will. We are not only to work out our own salvation, but we are to love our fellow-men as we love ourselves. We must manifest the glory of God. This is the high aim of our existence....
[c.5]If we remain in ignorance, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we put to the stretch every power, and task every ability to the utmost, with an eye single to the glory of God, we shall not fail of doing a valuable work for God....
[265a.1]There are powers within us that are paralysed through sin, that need the vivifying influence of the grace of Christ, that they may be restored. Almighty power from the Life-giver must quicken them to life, and rouse them to action....
[a.4]God has given to every man some ability to use in his service, and it is God's design that it should be employed to his glory and man's good. ST NOV.30,1888
Christ has purchased all your capabilities and talents. Why not give him that which is his own. Your intellect is God's properly [sic], made to be used for his service and glory. Your affections belong to God, and he demands them as his right. Give him your talents, your best and sharpest thoughts; for they are the purchase of his own blood.... Dedicate yourself to his service in a precious offering; and as you give all to Jesus, your heaven will begin upon earth; for as long as you keep all on the altar, Christ is yours, heaven is yours, eternal life is yours. All things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's....
[c.2]We are to be constantly looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and if we live thus in dependence upon him, the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance all things whatsoever he has spoken unto us, and will sanctify every faculty, and keep us reminded of our daily and hourly dependence upon our Heavenly Father's care, wisdom, love, and guardianship. ST SEP.25,1893
God has given us power and ability to improve to the best account in his service. He has made it possible for us to lay hold of the arm of infinite power that we may be strong in his might. But with all these great gifts and superior privileges within our reach, why are we content to be inefficient in his service....
[319A.5]All our powers are the gift of God. He has endowed us with reason, and he intends that we shall use this power that we may understand our situation and glorify him....
[A.7]The Lord desires that we should do our best. He desires us to so exert the powers of mind that he has given us that we may reach the high standard of the law of God. He wants us to keep his law as the apple of our eye.... We are Christ's property. Says the apostle [1 Cor 6:19F quoted.] ST SEP.9,1889