What It Means to Be a Laborer with God

Ellen G. White

[Titus 2:6-8] “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” {SSW July 1, 1892, par. 1}

Where sincere piety is lacking, where daily communion with God is neglected, the teacher in the Sabbath school will be dry and tedious in his manner of teaching. His words will have no power to reach the hearts of his pupils. To be laborers together with God means a great deal more than merely to go to Sabbath school and attend the services of the church, and take part in the work of teaching, and in bearing testimony in the social service. To be a laborer together with God means that your heart is drawn out in strong desire for the salvation of the sinful souls for whom Christ has died. It means that you are filled with solicitude for the work, that you are ever planning to make your instruction interesting, to devise ways that you may draw with every intrusted power of your nature along the lines in which Christ is drawing, that souls may be won to his service and be bound to him by the cords of his infinite love. {SSW July 1, 1892, par. 2}

Laborers together with God do not feel like shrinking from sacred obligations; but for Christ’s sake they are willing to endure toil, to suffer privation and reproach. They are willing to meet with repulses, though this is hard to bear and humiliating to human pride. But the laborer together with God will remember that Jesus bore shame and insult, rejection and death, that he might save those who were lost. Every part of the varied labor in the harvest field means sacrifice and self-denial. It means that the time usually spent in matters of minor importance should be spent in searching the Scriptures, that you may know how to labor successfully in the work to which you are appointed. It means that you must become acquainted with the Spirit of God. It means that you must do much praying, and have much serious thought as to how you may put to use every capability of your nature, and carry forward the work of God effectively. {SSW July 1, 1892, par. 3}

You are God’s employed servants, delegated to build up his kingdom in the earth, and you are to do your part in saving the souls for whom Christ has paid the price of his own blood. Is it then a slight matter to teach in the Sabbath school, without a preparation of heart for this momentous work? Many who undertake teaching a class feel little interest in it, and they mar the sacred work by their unconsecrated efforts. {SSW July 1, 1892, par. 4}

Teachers and workers in every department of the Sabbath school work, I address you in the fear of God, and tell you that unless you have a living connection with God, and are often before him in earnest prayer, you will not be able to do your work with heavenly wisdom, and win souls for Christ. The worker for God must be clothed with humility as with a garment. The Lord will recognize and bless the humble worker who has a teachable spirit, a reverential love for truth and righteousness, wherever such a worker may be. If you are thus, you will show a care for your scholars by making special efforts for their salvation. You will come close to them in loving sympathy, visiting them at their homes, learning their true condition by conversing with them concerning their experience in the things of God, and you will bear them in the arms of your faith to the throne of the Father. {SSW July 1, 1892, par. 5}

It will do no good to reprimand, and accuse, and fret at your scholars when they manifest a spirit of unrest and mischievousness. Remember you are to be a patient laborer together with God, and that all heaven is interested in the work you are doing, and any part in the work of God means toil and travail of soul. “Be strong, quit you like men.” Ask of your Master, who submitted to humiliation, and who endured the death of the cross, what he would have you to do. Take all your intrusted talents with you into the work, and put them out to the exchangers. Through the grace of Christ you will be able to do a precious work for the Master. The wealth of divine resource is at your command, and through prayer and faith you may lay hold on the promises of God and appropriate them to your need. Consecrate yourself and your all to the service of him who hath loved you, and hath given himself for you. Jesus says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” This means in the Sabbath school work as much as in the work of the minister. Now is the golden opportunity to sow precious seed that will spring up and bear fruit unto eternal life. Now you may be a savor of life unto life, for when you can impart to others truth that you have gained through a deep experience, it has a life-giving power that will impress hearts and draw them to Jesus. When Jesus is drawing and his colaborers are working in harmony with him, hard indeed must be the heart that will not be impressed and subdued by the power of divine love. {SSW July 1, 1892, par. 6}