The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. Job 17:9.
To every man God has entrusted talents for wise improvement. If rightly used, these talents will reflect glory to the Giver. But the most precious gifts of God may be perverted, and thus become a curse rather than a blessing….
The Lord has given man capacity for continual improvement, and has granted him all possible aid in the work. Through the provisions of divine grace, we may attain almost to the excellence of the angels. What shall be said of those who, having had many years of experience in the truth, and many precious advantages for growth in grace, are yet inclined toward the world, and find pleasure in its amusements and display? Instead of going on from strength to strength, they are, little by little, departing from God, and losing their spiritual life….
Talent can never take the place of piety, nor can the applause of men recommend us to the favor of God. What the majority of professed Christians need, is genuine conversion. If the heart is right, the actions will be right. An earthly, debasing influence marks the character and the life of those whose hearts do not glow with the fire of true goodness. Too many profess to be followers of Christ, and feel at liberty to follow their own judgment, and indulge the desires of their own hearts. He who would advance in the Christian life must put his own hands and heart to the work. Friends may exhort and counsel, to urge him onward and upward; Heaven may pour its choicest blessings upon him; he may have all possible assistance on the right hand and on the left, and yet all will be in vain, unless he shall put forth earnest effort to help himself. He himself must engage in the warfare against sin and Satan, or he will fail of everlasting life.66The Review and Herald, June 20, 1882.
Pure religion leads its possessor ever upward, inspiring him with noble purposes, teaching him propriety of deportment, and imparting a becoming dignity to every action.67The Review and Herald, June 20, 1882.