“Every one should consider the solemn question, What is my life toward God and my fellow-men? No man liveth unto himself. No life is simply neutral in its results. The enemy often blinds the mind in regard to the importance of life; but it is of vast importance, and we cannot cast off our responsibilities without imperiling our eternal interests. We shall be held accountable for doing our duty to God and to our fellow-men. Our false theories of life will not lessen the claims that are upon us, or make void the relation that exists between us and humanity. We cannot break the thread of our obligation to others. Our obligations not only concern this life, but are as far reaching as eternity, and we cannot fulfill them without divine aid. Our life was given us of God, and is dependent upon him, as the leaf is dependent upon the bough for sustenance. What is Christian life? It is a life rescued, a life taken out of a world of sin, and attached to the life of Christ. It is the life of one to whom has been imputed the righteousness of Christ.
“Every soul is under obligation to live a Christian life. Our individuality, our talents, our time, our influence, our abilities, all given to us of God, are to be rendered back to him in willing service. The aim and object of life is not to secure temporal advantages, but to make sure of the eternal advantages. God claims your soul, your body, your capabilities; for he has bought them by his own precious blood, and they all belong to him. It is robbery to withhold yourself from God. “Know ye not that . . . 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.” You are to make the kingdom of God and his righteousness your first consideration, and recognize divine authority in all your temporal affairs. In thus doing, will your dignity be lowered, your manhood debased, or your happiness lessened?–Not in the least. The religion of Christ never degrades its possessor. Christ is the light of the world, and all who live in Christ become the light of the world.
When the sinner accepts Christ, and lives in him, Jesus takes his sins and weaknesses, and then grafts the repentant soul into himself, so that he sustains the relation to Christ that the branch does to the vine. We have nothing, we are nothing, unless we receive virtue from Jesus Christ. But because of our relation to Jesus, we are under obligations as far reaching as eternity, to serve him, to render him praises and gratitude and love.
Our life is not our own, never was, and never can be. The question of importance to us is, Is our life interwoven with that of Jesus? If it is not, we are objects of pity; for the record of heaven is traced with a life of transgression that we shall not be pleased to meet at the last day. We shall come into judgment for the very atmosphere that surrounds the soul; for it is vital, and is influencing souls for good or evil. We are exerting an influence that is affecting souls, and helping to decide their eternal destiny.
What is your life? You must meet and answer that question sometime. If you are in impenitence, you are exerting an influence to make some other soul rest in carnal security, and aiding others to content themselves with carelessness and unconcern in regard to eternal realities. But you will meet those whom you have influenced in eternity, and will have to bear the sentence of condemnation that you have brought upon yourself in the judgment; for you cooperated with Satan in bringing ruin upon a soul for whom Christ died. If you connect with God, fearing him, loving him, obeying him, and giving to the world a living example of what the Christian’s life should be, you will fulfill your obligation to God and to your fellow-men. You are to show forth in your life what it means to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself. Connected with the God of wisdom and love, you will demonstrate to the world the fact that you are not living for this world, but for that which is not temporal, but eternal.
You are to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” Shall we believe the assurances of God’s word? Shall we individually act our part? Shall we be laborers together with God? It will not be possible to do this in your own finite strength. You must be a thorough Bible Christian, using your talents to draw every soul within the sphere of your influence to Jesus Christ. The more you love Jesus, the more cheerfully will you labor to lead souls who are in darkness into the marvelous light of truth. May the Lord impress your hearts with the necessity of working for the Master.”
–Ellen G. White