“Think on These Things” is a column written by retired Creston Pastor Ian Cotton.

“Think on These Things” is a column written by retired Creston Pastor Ian Cotton.

Think on These Things: Saying and Doing – Part 4

‘If you cultivate faithfully the vineyard of your soul, God will make you a laborer together with Himself.’

By retired Seventh-day Adventist Pastor, Ian Cotton

In the command, “Go work in My vineyard,” the test of sincerity is brought to all. Will there be deeds as well as words? Will the one called use the knowledge he has, working faithfully for God?

2 Peter 1:2-7. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,… whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

If you cultivate faithfully the vineyard of your soul, God will make you a laborer together with Himself. And you will have a work to do not only for yourself, but for others. In representing the church as the vineyard, Christ does not teach that we are to restrict our sympathies and labors to our own numbers. As we receive the instruction and grace from God, we should impart it to others. Thus we may extend the Lord’s vineyard. God is watching for evidence of our faith, love, and patience so that we may enter the Paradise.

Consider Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, He is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered God requires from human beings today. He served His Father with love, in willingness and freedom. “I delight to do Thy will, O My God,” He declared; “yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8.

All who would be sons and daughters of God must prove themselves co-workers with God and Christ. This is the test for every soul. Of those who faithfully serve Him the Lord says, “They shall be Mine, … in that day when I make up My jewels;” Malachi 3:17.

God’s great object in the working out of His providences is to try men, to give them opportunity to develop character. Thus He proves whether they are obedient or disobedient to His commandments. Good works do not purchase the love of God, but they reveal that we possess that love. If we surrender the will to God, we shall not work in order to earn God’s love. His love as a free gift will be received into the soul, and from love to Him we shall delight to obey His commandments.

There are only two classes in the world today, and only two classes will be recognized in the judgment—those who violate God’s law and those who obey it. Christ gives the test by which to prove our loyalty or disloyalty. “If you love Me,” He says, “keep My commandments… . He that keeps My commandments, is the one that loves Me. “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 14:15-24; 15:10.

– Adapted from Christ Object Lessons

READ MORE: Think on These Things: Saying and Doing Part 3

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