〉 Chapter 6—The Loving Watchcare of Jesus
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Chapter 6—The Loving Watchcare of Jesus
[Portion of a letter written February 18, 1904, published in Notebook Leaflets, Christian Experience, No. 1.] (1SM 79)
As I write I have a deep sense of gratitude for the loving watchcare of our Saviour over us all. As I read the Word of God and kneel in prayer, I am so impressed with the goodness and mercy of God that I cannot offer my petition without weeping. My heart is subdued and broken as I think of my heavenly Father’s goodness and love. I hunger and thirst for more and still more of Jesus in this life. Christ was crucified for me, and shall I complain if I am crucified with Christ?... (1SM 79.1) 3 I
We know not what is before us, and our only safety is in walking with Christ, our hand in His, our hearts filled with perfect trust. Has He not said, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me?” Isaiah 27:5. Let us keep close to the Saviour. Let us walk humbly with Him, filled with His meekness. Let self be hid with Him in God.... (1SM 79.2) 2 I
The Outward Adorning
Those who cherish and flatter self, fostering pride and vanity, giving to dress and appearance the time and attention that ought to be given to the Master’s work, are incurring a fearful loss. Many who are clothed in beautiful outward garments know nothing of the inward adorning that is in the sight of God of great price. Their fine clothing covers a heart that is sinful and diseased, full of vanity and pride. They know not what it means to “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). (1SM 79.3)
I long to be filled day by day with the Spirit of Christ. The treasure of His grace is of more value to me than gold or silver or costly array. I never felt a more earnest longing for righteousness than at the present time. (1SM 80.1) 2 I
When my sisters catch a glimpse of what Christ has suffered in their behalf, that they might become children of God by adoption, they will no longer be satisfied with worldly pride and self-love. No longer will they worship self. God will be the object of their supreme regard. (1SM 80.2)
My heart aches as I am shown how many there are who make self their idol. Christ has paid the redemption price for them. To Him belongs the service of all their powers. But their hearts are filled with self-love, and the desire for self-adorning. They give no thought to the words, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Self-gratification is hiding Christ from their view. They have no desire to walk before God in meekness and lowliness. They are not looking to Jesus. They are not praying that they may be changed into His likeness. Their cases are represented by the man who came to the king’s banquet clothed in his common citizen dress. He had refused to make the preparation required by the king. The garment provided for him at great cost he disdained to wear. To the king’s demand, “How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?” (Matthew 22:12) he could answer nothing. He was speechless; for he was self-condemned. (1SM 80.3)
Many who profess to be Christians are such only in name. They are not converted. They keep self prominent. They do not sit at the feet of Jesus, as Mary did, to learn of Him. They are not ready for Christ’s coming. (1SM 80.4) 3 I
A Great Surprise
In the night season I was in a company of people whose hearts were filled with vanity and conceit. Christ was hid from their eyes. Suddenly in loud, clear accents, the words were heard, “Jesus is coming to take to Himself those who on this earth have loved and served Him, to be with Him in His kingdom forever.” Many of those in the company went forth in their costly apparel to meet Him. They kept looking at their dress. But when they saw His glory, and realized that their estimation of one another had been so largely measured by outward appearance, they knew that they were without the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and that the blood of souls was on their garments. (1SM 81.1)
When Christ took His chosen ones, they were left; for they were not ready. In their lives self had been given the first place, and when the Saviour came, they were not prepared to meet Him. (1SM 81.2)
I awoke with the picture of their agonized countenances stamped on my mind. I cannot efface the impression. I wish I could describe the scene as it was presented to me. Oh, how sad was the disappointment of those who had not learned by experience the meaning of the words, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). (1SM 81.3)
There are many professing Christians who know not Christ by an experimental knowledge. Oh, how my heart aches for these poor, deceived, unprepared souls! As I stand before congregations, and see the self-sufficient, self-righteous ones, and know that they are not preparing themselves to do acceptable work for Christ, and to meet Him in peace, I am so burdened that I cannot sleep. I ask myself, What can I say to these souls that will arouse them to a sense of their true condition? Self is the all-absorbing theme of their life. I long to reveal Christ so plainly that they will behold Him, and cease to center their attention on self.... (1SM 81.4)
Among those to whom bitter disappointment will come at the day of final reckoning will be some who have been outwardly religious, and who apparently have lived Christian lives. But self is woven into all they do. They pride themselves on their morality, their influence, their ability to stand in a higher position than others, [and] their knowledge of the truth, for they think that these will win for them the commendation of Christ. “Lord,” they plead, “we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets” (Luke 13:26). “Have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22). (1SM 81.5)
But Christ says, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me.” “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). (1SM 82.1)
There is no discussion; the time for that is past. The irrevocable sentence has been pronounced. They are shut out from heaven by their own unfitness for its companionship. (Read Matthew 7:24-27.)—Letter 91, 1904. (1SM 82.2)
Through the plan of redemption, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong.—The Review and Herald, December 22, 1885. (1SM 82.3)
If God’s people had the love of Christ in the heart; if every church member were thoroughly imbued with the spirit of self-denial; if all manifested thorough earnestness, there would be no lack of funds for home and foreign missions; our resources would be multiplied; a thousand doors of usefulness would be opened, and we would be invited to enter. Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving the message of mercy to the world, Christ would have come to the earth, and the saints would ere this have received their welcome into the city of God.—Union Conference Record (Australasian), October 15, 1898. (1SM 82.4)