Saturday, May 11, 2013

The mission of Christ’s servants is a high honor, and a sacred trust

He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them. And “whosoever shall deny Me before men,” He says, “him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.” 

The Saviour bade His disciples not to hope that the world’s enmity to the gospel would be overcome, and that after a time its opposition would cease. He said, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” This creating of strife is not the effect of the gospel, but the result of opposition to it. Of all persecution the hardest to bear is variance in the home, the estrangement of dearest earthly friends. But Jesus declares, “He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.” 

The mission of Christ’s servants is a high honor, and a sacred trust. “He that receiveth you,” He says, “receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.” No act of kindness shown to them in His name will fail to be recognized and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition He includes the feeblest and lowliest of the family of God: “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones”—those who are as children in their faith and their knowledge of Christ—“a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in nowise lose his reward.” 

Thus the Saviour ended His instruction. In the name of Christ the chosen twelve went out, as He had gone, “to preach the gospel to the poor, ... to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19.

The Desire of Ages, pp. 357, 358

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