Unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Hebrews 4:2.
Life is a sacred trust.... Christ has given us this present time in which to prepare for the home above. Just in accordance with the life which the human agent lives in the time of probation granted him will be the decision made regarding his case by the Judge of all.
We need to realize the necessity of exercising that faith which is acceptable to God—the faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Without faith it is impossible to hear the Word in such a way as to profit by the hearing, even though it be presented in a most impressive manner....
Unless we mix faith with our hearing of the Word, unless we receive the truths we hear as a message from heaven, to be carefully studied, to be eaten by the soul and assimilated into the spiritual life, we lose the impression of the Spirit of God. We do not understand by experience what it means to find rest by receiving the divine assurances of the Word.
The importance of studying the Word cannot be overestimated. Its promises are large, and full of richness. In no case should we fail of securing the heavenly treasure. Christ is our only security. We cannot trust to human reasoning. The world is full of men and women who cherish deceptive theories, and it is dangerous to listen to them....
The religion of Jesus Christ works a reformation in life and character. The true Christian seeks constantly for the grace that changes the objectionable features of the natural character. Instead of speaking sharp, dictatorial words, he speaks the words of encouragement that Christ would speak were He in his place. He shows benevolence to all, not only to the few who may flatter him and exalt his wisdom. The purity and holiness revealed in Christ's life radiates from the life of the true Christian.
Christians are to be light bearers in the world, shining amid the darkness of sin and crime. In the kingdom of this world, the principalities and powers that take Satan as their leader must constantly be met. Following Christ's example of cross bearing and self-denial makes those who receive Christ children of God. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). They are victors in the battle of life; for they have put on the new man, “which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).—Manuscript 30, March 2, 1902, “Christlikeness in Business Dealings.”
From The Upward Look - Page 75