Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 9: The Work and the Life
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God is the source of life and light and joy to the
universe. Like rays of light from the sun, like
the streams of water bursting from a living
spring, blessings flow out from Him to all His
creatures. And wherever the life of God is in the hearts
of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing.
Our Saviour's joy was in the uplifting and
redemption of fallen men. For this He counted not
His life dear unto Himself, but endured the cross,
despising the shame. So angels are ever engaged in
working for the happiness of others. This is their joy.
That which selfish hearts would regard as humiliating
service, ministering to those who are wretched
and in every way inferior in character and rank, is
the work of sinless angels. The spirit of Christ's
self-sacrificing love is the spirit that pervades heaven
and is the very essence of its bliss. This is the spirit
that Christ's followers will possess, the work that
they will do.
When the love of Christ is enshrined in the heart,
like sweet fragrance it cannot be hidden. Its holy
influence will be felt by all with whom we come in
contact. The spirit of Christ in the heart is like a
spring in the desert, flowing to refresh all and
making those who are ready to perish, eager to drink
of the water of life.
Love to Jesus will be manifested in a desire to
work as He worked for the blessing and uplifting of [p. 78] humanity. It will lead to love, tenderness, and
sympathy toward all the creatures of our heavenly
The Saviour's life on earth was not a life of ease
and devotion to Himself, but He toiled with persistent,
earnest, untiring effort for the salvation of lost
mankind. From the manger to Calvary He followed
the path of self-denial and sought not to be released
from arduous tasks, painful travels and exhausting
care and labor. He said, "The Son of man came
not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to
give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28.
This was the one great object of His life. Everything
else was secondary and subservient. It was His meat
and drink to do the will of God and to finish His work.
Self and self-interest had no part in His labor.
So those who are the partakers of the grace of
Christ will be ready to make any sacrifice, that others
for whom He died may share the heavenly gift.
They will do all they can to make the world better
for their stay in it. This spirit is the sure outgrowth
of a soul truly converted. No sooner does one come
to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to
make known to others what a precious friend he has
found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth
cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are clothed with
the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy
of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold
our peace. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord
is good we shall have something to tell. Like Philip
when he found the Saviour, we shall invite others
into His presence. We shall seek to present to them [p. 79] the attractions of Christ and the unseen realities of
the world to come. There will be an intensity of
desire to follow in the path that Jesus trod. There
will be an earnest longing that those around us may
"behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world." John 1:29.
And the effort to bless others will react in
blessings upon ourselves. This was the purpose of God in
giving us a part to act in the plan of redemption.
He has granted men the privilege of becoming
partakers of the divine nature and, in their turn, of
diffusing blessings to their fellow men. This is the
highest honor, the greatest joy, that it is possible for
God to bestow upon men. Those who thus become
participants in labors of love are brought nearest to
God might have committed the message of the
gospel, and all the work of loving ministry, to the
heavenly angels. He might have employed other
means for accomplishing His purpose. But in His
infinite love He chose to make us co-workers with
Himself, with Christ and the angels, that we might
share the blessing, the joy, the spiritual uplifting,
which results from this unselfish ministry.
We are brought into sympathy with Christ through
the fellowship of His sufferings. Every act of
self-sacrifice for the good of others strengthens the spirit
of beneficence in the giver's heart, allying him more
closely to the Redeemer of the world, who "was
rich, yet for your sakes . . . became poor, that ye
through His poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians
8:9. And it is only as we thus fulfill the divine [p. 80] purpose in our creation that life can be a blessing to us.
If you will go to work as Christ designs that His
disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel
the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge
in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after
righteousness. You will plead with God, and your
faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink
deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering
opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and
prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge
of Christ, and will develop a rich experience.
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