All around us are poor, tried souls that need sympathizing words and helpful deeds. There are widows who need sympathy and assistance. There are orphans whom Christ has bidden His followers receive as a trust from God. . . . They are members of God’s great household, and Christians as His stewards are responsible for them. — Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 386, 387.
Their souls, He says,
will I require at thine hand.
It is not the greatness of the work which we do, but the love and fidelity with which we do it, that wins the approval of the Saviour. — Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 325.
- At first sight, the parable of the sheep and the goats seems to teach that salvation is by works; that is, the more good works we do, the better our chances of getting into the kingdom of God. But the surprise of the saved ones shows that they did not demonstrate love in order to gain merits. Jesus clearly taught that eternal life is the result of believing in Him (John 3:15; John 6:40, John 6:47; John 11:25, 26). True loving deeds come from faith and love to God (Gal. 5:6). These deeds are the evidence, not the cause, of salvation. How can we endeavor to act in a loving manner while, at the same time, avoiding the trap of thinking that we are doing these things in order to earn our right to heaven? Why must we always distinguish between the fruit of salvation and the means?
- It’s one thing to love your
enemieswhen they are nothing but annoying, unfriendly creatures; such as difficult coworkers, rude acquaintances, or ungrateful neighbors. That’s hard enough. But what about true enemies, people who have done you harm or who intended to do you or your family harm? How are we to love them? What consolation is there, if any, in the fact that we are not commanded to love them
- People can argue with us over our theology, doctrine, lifestyle, pretty much everything. But who can argue against unselfish, disinterested love? Unselfish love reveals a power that transcends rational or logical argument. How can we learn to express this love, no matter the cost to ourselves?