In the pathway of all who seek the crown, is the cross. If we would become partakers with Christ of His glory, we must be willing to share with Him in His sufferings. If we would reflect His glorious image, we must be submissive to the divine moulding; we must follow in the footsteps of the Man of Calvary. God has claims upon every one of us. He created us, He redeemed us with an infinite sacrifice. He has promised the overcomer the great rewards of eternity. Why do we cling to anything that is offensive to Him? Why not separate from every sin, and perfect holiness before him? The only reward for sin is unutterable woe and death; but the righteous shall be at His right hand in fullness of joy, in His presence, where are pleasures forevermore.
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." What a promise is this, that we may share in the glory of our Redeemer! The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon the servants of God, and they are to reflect His rays. Christians are to make it manifest that there is a God on the throne of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. As Christ is pure in His sphere, so man may be pure in his sphere. Those who have, by beholding, become changed into the moral image of Christ, will put on immortality and incorruption at His appearing, and will be caught up to be forever with the Lord.
All heaven is interested in our salvation. The angels of God are walking up and down the streets of these cities, and marking the deeds of men. They record in the books of God's remembrance, the words of faith, the acts of love, the humility of spirit; and in that day when every man's work shall be tried of what sort it is, the work of the humble follower of Christ will stand the test, and will receive the commendation of Heaven. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
We are too faithless. We do not take the promises of God, and drink in their rich meaning. We let doubts shut out the consolation of the assurances of God. Suppose a man were condemned to death, but before the sentence was executed, a noble who was able to free him, had compassion upon him, and said, "I will die in his stead," and the fetters were removed, the prisoner went free, while the noble died. What gratitude would awaken in the doomed man's heart! He would never forget his deliverer. The deed of the noble would be heralded to all parts of the world. This is what Jesus, the Prince of heaven, has done for us. When we were under the condemnation of death, He came to rescue us, to set us free from the bondage of Satan, and to deliver us from everlasting death. With His own precious blood He paid the penalty of our transgression. Does not gratitude awaken in your heart for this wonderful love? Is it not your determination to yield all you have and are to the service of such a Saviour? Will you not become a labourer together with God, seeking the salvation of those for whom Christ died?
You will lose nothing by connecting with the King of the universe. He "is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." He will welcome you to the home of the blest. There you will see that "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." What greater evidence could we ask of the love of God, than He has given? Let us dwell upon His rich promises, till our hearts are melted into tenderness and devotion.
Jesus invites you, in words that touch the heart with their compassionate love and pity. He says: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Have you experienced this blessed rest, or do you slight this invitation to make a confidant of Jesus? Do you pour out your trials and grievances into human ears? Do you go for help to those who cannot give you rest, and neglect the loving call of the mighty Saviour? Have faith in God. Believe in the precious promises. Go to Jesus in childlike simplicity, and say, "Lord, I have borne these burdens as long as I can, and now I lay them upon the Burden-bearer." Do not gather them up again, but leave them all with Jesus. Go away free, for Jesus has set you free. He said, "I will give you rest." Take Him at His word. Instead of your own galling yoke of care, wear the yoke of Christ. He says: "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Learn of Him; for He is "meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Fix your eyes upon Jesus. He is the light of the world, and He declares, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
You can show to the world that there is power in the religion of Christ. Jesus will help those who seek Him with all their hearts, to overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. When you follow the light, walking in the path of truth, you will reflect the rays of glory, and be like a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. When the books of remembrance shall be opened, your words, your deeds of love, will be acceptable before God; your robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb, will be spotless; the righteousness of Christ will be put upon you, and you will be given a new, an immortal name.
Originally published in Review and Herald, September 16, 1890.