Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 25: Talents
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All should have an intelligent knowledge of the human
frame that they may keep their bodies in the condition
necessary to do the work of the Lord. The physical life
is to be carefully preserved and developed that through
humanity the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness.
The relation of the physical organism to the spiritual life
is one of the most important branches of education. It
should receive careful attention in the home and in the
school. All need to become acquainted with their physical
structure and the laws that control natural life. He who
remains in willing ignorance of the laws of his physical
being and who violates them through ignorance is sinning
against God. All should place themselves in the best
possible relation to life and health. Our habits should be
brought under the control of a mind that is itself under the
control of God.
"Know ye not," says the apostle Paul, "that your body
is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye
have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are
bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
We are to love God, not only with all the heart, mind,
and soul, but with all the strength. This covers the full,
intelligent use of the physical powers.
Christ was a true worker in temporal as well as
in spiritual things, and into all His work He brought a
determination to do His Father's will. The things of
heaven and earth are more closely connected and are more
directly under the supervision of Christ than many realize. [p. 349] It was Christ who planned the arrangement for the first
earthly tabernacle. He gave every specification in regard
to the building of Solomon's temple. The One who in His
earthly life worked as a carpenter in the village of Nazareth
was the heavenly architect who marked out the plan for
the sacred building where His name was to be honored.
It was Christ who gave to the builders of the tabernacle
wisdom to execute the most skillful and beautiful
workmanship. He said, "See, I have called by name Bezaleel
the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and
I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in
understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of
workmanship. . . . And I, behold, I have given with him
Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in
the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom,
that they may make all that I have commanded thee." Ex.
God desires that His workers in every line shall look
to Him as the Giver of all they possess. All right inventions
and improvements have their source in Him who is
wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. The skillful
touch of the physician's hand, his power over nerve and
muscle, his knowledge of the delicate organism of the body,
is the wisdom of divine power, to be used in behalf of the
suffering. The skill with which the carpenter uses the
hammer, the strength with which the blacksmith makes the
anvil ring, comes from God. He has entrusted men with
talents, and He expects them to look to Him for counsel.
Whatever we do, in whatever department of the work we
are placed, He desires to control our minds that we may
do perfect work.
Religion and business are not two separate things; they
are one. Bible religion is to be interwoven with all we do
or say. Divine and human agencies are to combine in [p. 350] temporal as well as in spiritual achievements. They are to
be united in all human pursuits, in mechanical and agricultural
labors, in mercantile and scientific enterprises. There
must be co-operation in everything embraced in Christian
God has proclaimed the principles on which alone this
co-operation is possible. His glory must be the motive of
all who are laborers together with Him. All our work is to
be done from love of God and in accordance with His will.
It is just as essential to do the will of God when erecting
a building as when taking part in a religious service. And
if the workers have brought the right principles into their
own character making, then in the erection of every building
they will grow in grace and knowledge.
But God will not accept the greatest talents or the most
splendid service unless self is laid upon the altar, a living,
consuming sacrifice. The root must be holy, else there can
be no fruit acceptable to God.
The Lord made Daniel and Joseph shrewd managers.
He could work through them because they did not live to
please their own inclination but to please God.
The case of Daniel has a lesson for us. It reveals the
fact that a businessman is not necessarily a sharp, policy
man. He can be instructed by God at every step. Daniel,
while prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon, was a
prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration.
Worldly, ambitious statesmen are represented in the word
of God as the grass that groweth up and as the flower
of the grass that fadeth. Yet the Lord desires to have in
His service intelligent men, men qualified for various lines
of work. There is need of businessmen who will weave
the grand principles of truth into all their transactions.
And their talents should be perfected by most thorough
study and training. If men in any line of work need to [p. 351] improve their opportunities to become wise and efficient,
it is those who are using their ability in building up the
kingdom of God in our world. Of Daniel we learn that in
all his business transactions, when subjected to the closest
scrutiny, not one fault or error could be found. He was
a sample of what every businessman may be. His history
shows what may be accomplished by one who consecrates
the strength of brain and bone and muscle, of heart and
life, to the service of God.
God also entrusts men with means. He gives them
power to get wealth. He waters the earth with the dews
of heaven and with the showers of refreshing rain. He
gives the sunlight, which warms the earth, awakening to
life the things of nature and causing them to flourish and
bear fruit. And He asks for a return of His own.
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