2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 9, February 25-March 3, The Holy Spirit and the Church
Friday, March 3
“To preach to the people will avail nothing unless the worker has a vital connection with God. The minister may attract attention by his eloquence; but if his spirit and action are not in harmony with his words, they will have little power to convert the soul. Christ sent forth his disciples to preach the gospel not singly, but by twos, that they might labor unitedly in spreading the truth. Jesus saw that this plan would result in much more good than if one was sent alone. There is need of two working together; for one can encourage the other, and they can counsel, pray, and search the Bible together. In this they may get a broader light upon the truth; for one will see one phase, and the other another phase of the truth. If they are erring, they can correct one another in speech and attitude, so that the truth may not be lightly esteemed because of the defects of its advocates. If the workers are sent out alone, there is no one to see or correct their errors; but when two go together, an educating work may be carried on, and each worker become what he should be,—a successful soul-winner.
“If frequently happens that one of the workers is self-conceited because of his power to interest his hearers, and yet he may not be one who may win souls to Christ. How important that a humble man be set aside, who is a laborer together with God, who watches and prays in simplicity, whom the heavenly Father that seeth in secret can reward openly. In the sight of men the self-sufficient worker may seem to be moving the world; but in the sight of God the humble wrestler moves heaven. The hosts of God are interested in the humble, praying man, who dares not make a move without first coming in prayer into the presence of God to counsel with the Omnipotent. True missionary work can be done only in the spirit of the first Missionary who visited our world. He was often in prayer to his Father, and at times presented his petitions with strong crying and tears, pleading that the power of God might save those who knew not that they needed salvation. We must have the spirit that actuated Christ, that led him to entreat and persuade the rebellious to come unto him. Even when men turn away from us in hardness of heart, refusing the gift of eternal life, we are to imitate the example of Christ. He did not look with indifference upon those who slighted and rejected him. It was a hard struggle for the Saviour to give up the child of his love, even Jerusalem. He had led his chosen people through the wilderness, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. He had directed their ways, guided them by his eye, and watched over them continually. Must he now give up his son whom he had delivered from slavery in Egypt? O, if the Jewish nation had known the Prince of Life who came to save them, they would not have hated him, refused to hear him, and at last crucified him. But knowing that they would work the will of Satan against him, he looked upon Jerusalem, saying, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.'” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, July 4, 1893, emphasis added.)