Our Gatherings

Everything has been moving on just as the Lord revealed in prophecy that it would. Something great and decisive is soon to take place, else no flesh would be saved. The character of God will not be compromised. Under the wrath of God, universal desolation will soon reach all parts of the known world. There have been lightnings and earthquakes, fires and floods, calamities by sea and land; but who reads these warnings? What impression is made upon the world? What change in their attitude is seen? No more than was seen in the inhabitants of the Noachian world. The people are just as ardent to-day in their games, in their horse racing, in their love of amusement, as were the antediluvians, who "knew not until the flood came, and took them all away," They had heaven-sent warnings, but they refused to listen. By their attitude they declared, We want not thy way, O God; we want our own way, our own will. To-day the world is mad: an insanity is upon men and women, and is hurrying them on to eternal ruin. Every species of indulgence prevails, and men have become so infatuated with vice that they will not listen to warnings or appeals. RH NOV.27,1900

When our weakness becomes strength in the strength of Christ, we shall not be craving for amusement. These holidays that are considered so indispensable will not be used simply for the gratification of self, but will be turned into occasions in which you can bless and enlighten souls. ST JUN.06,1892

But Satan will bring to the mind many things to crowd out matters of eternal interest. It is his opportunity to confuse the right by mixing it up with the wrong. Through attendance at worldly gatherings a taste is created for exciting amusements, and moral power is weakened. Those who love pleasure may keep up a form of godliness, but they have no vital connection with God. Their faith is dead, their zeal has departed. They feel no burden to speak a word in season to souls who are out of Christ, and to urge them to give their hearts to the Lord. YI MAR.30,1893

Many declare that it is certainly no harm to go to a concert, and neglect the prayer-meeting, or absent yourself from meetings where God's servants are to declare to you a message from heaven. It is safe for you to be just where Christ has said he would be. Those who appreciate the words of Christ will not turn aside from the prayer-meeting, or from the meeting where the Lord's messenger has been sent to tell you concerning things of eternal interest. Jesus has said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Can you afford to choose your pleasure and miss the blessing? It is these indulgences that have a telling influence not only on your own life and character, but on the life and character of you associates. YI MAR.30,1893

If you truly belong to Christ, you will have opportunities for witnessing for him. You will be invited to attend places of amusement, and then it will be that you will have an opportunity to testify for your Lord. If you are true to Christ then, you will not try to frame excuses for your non-attendance, but will plainly and modestly declare that you are a child of God, and your principles would not allow you to be in a place, even for one occasion, where you could not invite the presence of your Lord. YI MAY 4,1893

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their soul to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect peace. DA. 331.


A Prayer of Consecration

by Ellen G. White

(The following prayer of consecration was offered by Mrs. Ellen G. White at the close of a sermon she delivered in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on May 22, 1904.)

Our heavenly Father, we come to Thee at this time just as we are, needy and dependent, but we know, Lord, that Thou art a compassionate Saviour. Thou hast made an infinite sacrifice, that we may have eternal life, if we will only cooperate with Thee. We ask Thee to put it into our hearts today, to renew our covenant with Thee by sacrifice. Help us this day that we may lay hold upon Thee by living faith. Separate from us everything that would separate us from Thee.

Our Father, Thou knowest that we love Thee. We see a world ready to perish in sin, and we are not prepared to labor together with Thee. We desire to be fitted up for Thy service. We desire the Holy Spirit to descend upon us. We want the darkness to be swept away from our eyes, that we may have the clear light of understanding.

We ask Thy blessing upon those who have arisen to express their desire to be prepared for Thy coming. As they leave this pavilion, may they seek Thee in earnest prayer. May they go in companies of two or three, to seek Thee. Thou hast said that where two or three are gathered in Thy name, there Thou wilt be. Oh, give them a spirit of earnest pleading for the pardon of their sins, that Thou mayest say to them, "Thy sins be forgiven thee."

I ask Thee to pity every trembling soul in this congregation. I ask Thee, my Saviour, that Thou wilt awaken in the heart of every minister of the gospel, of every teacher, and of every one who professes to be Thy child, a desire for Thy Holy Spirit, that they may be endued with power, and that as they go from house to house, they may proclaim Thy truth. Let Thy message come to us, that we may arouse our sensibilities, that we may realize the value of souls. We want that every one here today shall be saved. May the light that shines from the throne of God shine into the chambers of the mind and into the soul-temple.

Merciful Redeemer, Thou knowest every one. Here are some who are weighted down with burdens that have rested heavily upon them. May they link up with Thee. May they put their arm in Thine arm, and cling to Thee, the mighty One, who hast said, "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me" (Isa. 27:5). These are Thy words. Show them how, Lord, show them how to humble their proud hearts. Show them what it means to break their will before God, and to take Thy will. Help them to cast their helpless souls upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Present before them eternal life.

Let the sweetness of Thy Holy Spirit come into the hearts of Thy ministers, that Thy melting, merciful love, may be manifest in their life. I ask Thee to dispel everything that would prevent them from working for the salvation of souls. Put it into their hearts and minds to make a covenant with Thee by sacrifice. Even now, may the melting love of Christ come into our midst. May we hear the words, "Thou art Mine, I have begotten thee unto Myself."

O Lord, Thou knowest how the powers of evil are working. We see the world going to perdition. Baptize Thy ministers, baptize Thy workers, with Thy Holy Spirit. I ask Thee to let melting love and mercy fall upon this congregation.

Now let praise and thanksgiving ascend to God, that Thou hast heard our prayer. We believe in Thee, Lord. Wash us from every stain of sin. Cleanse and purify us, and let us understand what it means to perfect holiness in the fear of God. I ask Thee to set the feet of those who have been stumbling, in the right path of Thy self-denial and self-sacrifice.

What can we say, Lord? We are weak ourselves. We need Thy power. We see the work that we have to do. We give ourselves to Thee. Let Thy blessing come to us, and Thy name shall have all the glory.

Printed in Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, pp. 267-269.