in This World
the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.
Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing,
piety of the Christian constitutes the standard by which worldlings
judge the gospel. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received,
meekness, kindness, mercy, and love, habitually exhibited, are the lights that
shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the
darkness that comes of the selfishness of the natural heart.” Patriarchs and Prophets,
1 What is
it that is stealing away our vital powers and chilling us to death in this
dark, cold world? Isaiah 58:7–11.
Note. “I have read of a man who, journeying
on a winter’s day through the deep, drifted snow, became benumbed by the cold
which was almost imperceptibly stealing away his vital powers. And as he was
nearly chilled to death by the embrace of the frost king, and about to give up
the struggle for life, he heard the moans of a brother traveler, who was
perishing with cold as he was about to perish. His humility was aroused to
rescue him. He chafed the ice-clad limbs of the unfortunate man, and, after
considerable effort, raised him to his feet; and as he could not stand, he bore
him in sympathizing arms through the very drifts he had thought he could never
succeed in getting through alone. And when he had borne his fellow traveler to
a place of safety, the truth flashed home to him that in saving his neighbor he
had saved himself also. His earnest efforts to save another quickened the blood
which was freezing in his own veins, and created a healthful
warmth in the extremities of the body.” Christian
Service, 92, 93.
belongs to the whole world that we should never hoard or keep to ourselves?
Note. “Christ does not bid His followers
strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you
have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions,
and the Lord’s glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate
and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your
influence.” Christ’s Object Lessons,
3 Those who
come out of the world in spirit will seek to answer what prayer? Matthew 6:10.
Note. “Those who come out of the world in
spirit and in all practice may regard themselves as sons and daughters of God.
… Those who seek to answer the prayer, ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in
heaven’ [Matthew 6:10], will seek by living pure, sanctified lives to show to
the world how the will of God is done in heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 6, 1102.
4 To arise means to accept it and act upon it; to shine means to
impart or communicate to others. Darkness is covering the world; what are we to
do? Isaiah 60:1.
Note. “While our Saviour
is the great source of illumination, forget not, O Christian, that He is
revealed through humanity. God’s blessings are bestowed through human
instrumentality. Christ Himself came to the world as the Son of man. Humanity,
united to the divine nature, must touch humanity. The church of Christ, every
individual disciple of the Master, is heaven’s appointed channel for the
revelation of God to men. Angels of glory wait to communicate through you
heaven’s light and power to souls that are ready to perish. Shall the human
agent fail of accomplishing his appointed work? Oh, then to that degree is the
world robbed of the promised influence of the Holy Spirit!” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 40.
5 To shine
means to radiate or to reflect light. Who is it that is to radiate and reflect?
Matthew 5:14; Proverbs 4:18. If we do not radiate, what kind of iceberg are we?
Note. “A soul filled with the love of Jesus
lends to the words, the manners, the looks, hope, courage and serenity. It
reveals the spirit of Christ. It breathes a love which will be reflected. It awakens
a desire for a better life; souls ready to faint are strengthened; those
struggling against temptation will be fortified and comforted. The words, the
expression, the manners throw out a bright ray of sunshine, and leave behind
them a clear path toward heaven, the source of all light. Every one of us has
opportunities of helping others. We are constantly making impressions upon the
youth about us. The expression of the countenance is itself a mirror of the
life within. Jesus desires that we shall become like Himself,
filled with tender sympathy, exerting a ministry of love in the small duties of
light of many does not burn or shine. They are moral icebergs.” “Ellen G. White
Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1156, 1157.
“Paul carried with him through his life on earth the very atmosphere of
heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his connection with
Christ and companionship with angels. Here lies the power of the truth.” The Story of Redemption,
that we are to be channels through whom light from
heaven flows, should we be blocking the light from flowing? Luke 19:21, 22.
Note. “Their words and works are the channel
through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the
world. They are the salt of the earth and the light thereof.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 262.
“From the beginning God has wrought through His people to bring blessing
to the world. To the ancient Egyptian nation God made Joseph a fountain of
life. Through the integrity of Joseph the life of that whole people was
preserved. Through Daniel God saved the life of all the wise men of Babylon.
And these deliverances are as object lessons; they illustrate the spiritual
blessings offered to the world through connection with the God whom Joseph and
Daniel worshiped. Everyone in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show
forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of
humanity. As he receives from the Saviour grace to
impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life.”
The Acts of the
Jews thought to confine the benefits of salvation to their own nation; but
Christ showed them that salvation is like the sunshine. It belongs to the whole
world. The religion of the Bible is not to be confined between the covers of a
book, nor within the walls of a church. It is not to be brought out
occasionally for our own benefit, and then to be carefully laid aside again. It
is to sanctify the daily life, to manifest itself in every business transaction
and in all our social relations.” The Desire of Ages, 306, 307.
7 Should we
allow our light to fail? The Great Teacher shares with us how not to let that
light fail. John 8:12.
Note. “The only light that can illuminate the
darkness of a world lying in sin must come from Christ, and this light is
granted to all who will receive it. ‘For,’ said the great
Teacher, ‘he that followeth me shall not walk in
darkness, but shall have the light of life’ [John 8:12].
“ ‘Shall Christians, shining for tempted sinners, allow
their light to fail?’
“Think of this, professed Christians! A failure to let your light shine,
a neglect to obtain heavenly wisdom that you may have light from God, may cause
the loss of a soul! What is the life lost at sea, in comparison with the
eternal life which may be lost through your unfaithfulness? Can you endure the
thought?” The Review and Herald,
January 24, 1882.
8 If a life
does not reflect the principles of the truth, what has happened? Matthew 5:15.
Note. “The man or woman who has a knowledge of the truth, but whose life does not express
its principles, is hiding his light. My brethren, let the light be brought from
under the bushel, that it may make known the truths of the gospel.” Counsels to Parents,
Teachers, and Students, 398.
9 As the branch is grafted into the vine, the nourishment
flows into the branch and fruits come forth. What are these fruits and how does
that relate to what we have been studying? John 15:1–5; Galatians 5:22, 23.
Note. “What is it to bear fruit? It is not
all comprised in coming to meeting once a week, and bearing our testimony in
prayer or social meeting. We are to be found day by day abiding in the Vine,
and bringing forth fruit, with patience, at our home, in our business; and in
every relation in life manifesting the Spirit of Christ. There are many who act
as though they thought an occasional connection with Christ was all that was
necessary, and that they can be accounted living branches because at times they
make confession of Christ. But this is a fallacy. The branch is to be grafted
into the Vine, and to abide there, uniting itself to the Vine fiber by fiber,
drawing its daily supply of sap and nourishment from the root and fatness of
the Vine, until it becomes one with the parent stock. The sap that nourishes
the Vine must nourish the branch and this will be evident in the life of him
who is abiding in Christ; for the joy of Christ will be fulfilled in him who
walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 5, 1144.
10 What makes our professions worthless?
Note. “Our professions are worthless unless
we abide in Christ; for we cannot be living branches unless the vital qualities
of the Vine abound in us. In the genuine Christian the characteristics of his
Master will appear, and when we reflect the graces of Christ in our lives and
characters, the Father loves us as He loves His Son. When this condition is
fulfilled in those who profess to believe the present truth, we shall see a
prosperous church; for its members will not live unto themselves, but unto Him
who died for them, and they will be flourishing branches of the living Vine.” Ibid.
religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away
our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine
illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed
with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is
purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the
gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour
brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect
assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the
life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.
“ ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the
Lord is risen upon thee.’ Isaiah 60:1. To those who go out to meet the
Bridegroom is this message given. Christ is coming with power and great glory.
He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. He is coming
with all the holy angels with Him. While all the world
is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints.
They will catch the first light of His second appearing. The unsullied light will
shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who
have served Him. While the wicked flee from His presence, Christ’s followers
will rejoice. The patriarch Job, looking down to the time of Christ’s second
advent, said, ‘Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not
a stranger.’ Job 19:27, margin. To His faithful followers Christ has been a
daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in
constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has
been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and
glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of
heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419–421.