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Some have thought that because persons could pray and exhort with a degree of freedom in meeting, they were qualified to go forth as laborers. And before they were proved, or could show any good fruit of their labors, men whom God has not sent have been encouraged and flattered by some brethren lacking experience. But their work shows the character of the workman. They scatter and confuse, but do not gather in and build up. A few may receive the truth as the fruit of their labors, but these generally rise no higher than those from whom they learned the truth. The same lack which marked their own course is seen in their converts. {1T 442.2} The success of this cause does not depend upon our having a large number of ministers, but it is of the highest importance that those who do labor in connection with the cause of God should be men who really feel the burden and sacredness of the work to which He has called them. A few self-sacrificing godly men, small in their own estimation, can do a greater amount of good than a much larger number if a part of these are unqualified for the work, yet self-confident and boastful of their own talents. {Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 442, 443}

God is not dependent upon any man for the advancement of His cause. He is raising up and qualifying men to bear the message to the world. He can make His strength perfect in the weakness of men. The power is of God. Ready speech, eloquence, great talents, will not convert a single soul. The efforts in the pulpit may stir up minds, the plain arguments may be convincing, but God giveth the increase. Godly men, faithful, holy men, who carry out in their everyday life that which they preach, will exert a saving influence. A powerful discourse delivered from the desk may affect minds; but a little imprudence upon the part of the minister out of the pulpit, a lack of gravity of speech and true godliness, will counteract his influence, and do away the good impressions made by him. The converts will be his; in many instances they will seek to rise no higher than their preacher. There will be in them no thorough heart work. They are not converted to God. The work is superficial, and their influence will be an injury to those who are really seeking the Lord. {Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 380}

Will the ministers awake? Will the presidents take the "Testimonies" of mercy which God has given them? Will they do something, and do it now? Will they heed the prayer of Jesus, "I sanctify myself that they may be sanctified"? Generally, the people rise no higher than the minister or the president. If he is a devoted man, losing self and selfish interest in Jesus Christ, his example will have a telling power in that direction on the people. {9MR 168.1}
Parents, God desires you to make your family a sample of the family in heaven. Guard your children. Be kind and tender with them. Father, mother, and children are to be joined together with the golden links of love. One well-ordered, well-disciplined family is a greater power in demonstrating the efficiency of Christianity than all the sermons in the world. When fathers and mothers realize how their children copy them, they will watch carefully every word and gesture (Manuscript 31, 1901). 6BC 1118.11

The victims of evil habit must be aroused to the necessity of making an effort for themselves. Others may put forth the most earnest endeavor to uplift them, the grace of God may be freely offered, Christ may entreat, His angels may minister; but all will be in vain unless they themselves are roused to fight the battle in their own behalf. CH 439.1

When self dies, there will be awakened an intense desire for the salvation of others,—a desire which will lead to persevering efforts to do good. There will be a sowing beside all waters; and earnest supplication, importunate prayers, will enter heaven in behalf of perishing souls.—(Gospel Workers, 470).

We should hold convocations for prayer, asking the Lord to open the way for the truth to enter the strongholds where Satan has set up his throne, and dispel the shadow he has cast athwart the pathway of those who he is seeking to deceive and destroy.—(Testimonies for the Church 6:80.)

The field of the controversy between Christ and Satan—the field on which the plan of redemption is wrought out—is the lesson book of the universe. PP 154

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