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Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
The tender sympathies of the Saviour went out for fallen, suffering humanity. Those who would be his followers must cultivate compassion and sympathy. Indifference to human woe must give place to lively interest in the suffering of others. The widow, the orphan, the sick, and the dying will always need help. Here is an opportunity to proclaim the gospel,–to hold up Jesus, the hope and consolation of all men. When the suffering body has been relieved, the heart is opened to receive the heavenly balm. Those with whom the Comforter dwells, who draws from him knowledge and strength and grace, will impart his consolation.
The Saviour has given His precious life in order to establish a church capable of ministering to the suffering, the sorrowful, and the tempted. A company of believers may be poor, uneducated, and unknown; yet in Christ they may do a work in the home, in the community, and even in “the regions beyond,” whose results shall be as far-reaching as eternity.
It is because this work is neglected that so many young disciples never advance beyond the mere alphabet of Christian experience. The light which was glowing in their own hearts when Jesus spoke to them, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” they might have kept alive by helping those in need. The restless energy that is so often a source of danger to the young might be directed into channels through which it would flow out in streams of blessing. Self would be forgotten in earnest work to do others good.
The hours so often spent in amusement that refreshes neither body nor soul should be spent in visiting the poor, the sick, and the suffering, or in seeking to help someone who is in need.
Every opportunity to help a brother in need, or to aid the cause of God in the spread of the truth, is a pearl that you can send beforehand and deposit in the bank of heaven for safekeeping. God is testing and proving you. He has been giving His blessings to you with a lavish hand and is now watching to see what use you are making of them, to see if you will help those who need help and if you will feel the worth of souls and do what you can with the means that He has entrusted to you. Every such opportunity improved adds to your heavenly treasure.
Love, courtesy, self-sacrifice,– these are never lost. When God’s chosen ones are changed from mortality to immortality, their words and deeds of goodness will be made manifest, and will be preserved through the eternal ages. No act of unselfish service, however small or simple, is ever lost. Through the merits of Christ’s imputed righteousness, the fragrance of such words and deeds is forever preserved.