Live for Self (71)

   Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                l i v e    f o r    s e l f             (  5  RELATED  PHRASES )                      

                       The  phrase  'Live for self'  appears  71  times in the published writings of EGW                                         See page on Original site                                                                                           Related Phrase:   to live for self ( 31 )  [below ]  - -   not live for self  (  )  - -   selfishness  (  )  - -  die to self  (  )

   To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self’s sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11, 12.   { COL 259.1}  Read entire Chapter 20

 

  The warning is for all time. Christ’s act in cursing the tree which His own power had created stands as a warning to all churches and to all Christians. No one can live the law of God without ministering to others. But there are many who do not live out Christ’s merciful, unselfish life. Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. Time is of value to them only as they can gather for themselves. In all the affairs of life this is their object. Not for others but for themselves do they minister. God created them to live in a world where unselfish service must be performed. He designed them to help their fellow men in every possible way. But self is so large that they cannot see anything else. They are not in touch with humanity. Those who thus live for self are like the fig tree, which made every pretension but was fruitless. They observe the forms of worship, but without repentance or faith. In profession they honor the law of God, but obedience is lacking. They say, but do not. In the sentence pronounced on the fig tree Christ demonstrates how hateful in His eyes is this vain pretense. He declares that the open sinner is less guilty than is he who professes to serve God, but who bears no fruit to His glory.  { DA 584.1} 

 

  Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those for whom Christ has died will degenerate. There may be a wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste. { OHC 348.5} 

 

  Love of self excludes the love of Christ.  Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those for whom Christ has died will degenerate. There may be a wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste [Revelation 3:17, 18 quoted] (Manuscript 61, 1898). { 7BC 962.6 } 

 

  Churches are not wholly composed of pure, sincere Christians. Not all the names that stand registered upon the church books are worthy to be there. The life and character of some as compared with others is as gold with worthless dross. It need not be so. Those who are valuable in life and influence have felt the importance of following Jesus closely, of making the life of Christ their study and example. This will require effort, meditation, and earnest prayer. It requires exertion to obtain the victory over selfishness and to make the interest of God’s cause primary. Some have made the effort and practiced close discipline of self, and they have gained precious victories. Those who consider their own interest primary, live for self. Their character in the sight of God is as worthless dross. { 2T 637.1} 

 

   I have been shown some things in regard to Brother I’s family which have pressed upon my mind so strongly since I have been in this place that I venture to write them out. I have been shown, Brother I, that there exists in your family an element of selfishness which clings to you like the leprosy. This selfishness must be seen and overcome, for it is a grievous sin in the sight of God. As a family you have so long consulted your own wishes, your own pleasure and convenience, that you do not feel that others have claims upon you. Your thoughts, plans, and efforts are for yourselves. You live for self; you do not cultivate disinterested benevolence, which, if exercised, would increase and strengthen until it would be your delight to live for others’ good. You would feel that you had an object in life, a purpose that would bring you returns of greater value than money. You need to have a more special interest for humanity, and in so doing you would bring your souls into closer connection with Christ and would be so imbued with His Spirit and would cleave to Him with so firm a tenacity that nothing could separate you from His love. { 3T 521.2} 

 

   When trials press you, when despondency and dark unbelief control your thoughts, when selfishness molds your actions, you do not see your need of God and of a deep and thorough knowledge of His will. You know not the will of God, neither can you know it while you live for self. You rely upon your good intentions and resolutions, and the principal sum of life is composed of resolutions made and resolutions broken. What you all need is to die to self, cease clinging to self, and surrender to God. Gladly would I comfort you if I could. Gladly would I praise your good qualities, good purposes, and good acts; but God was not pleased to show me these. He presented before me the hindrances to your gaining the noble, elevated character of holiness needful for you to have that you may not lose the heavenly rest and immortal glory He would have you attain. Look away from yourselves to Jesus. He is all and in all. The merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour will avail to cleanse from the least and greatest sin. In trusting faith commit the keeping of your souls to God as unto a faithful Creator. Be not continually in fear and apprehension that God will leave you. He never will unless you depart from Him. Christ will come in and dwell with you if you will open the door of your hearts to Him. There may be perfect harmony between you and the Father and His Son if you will die to self and live unto God. { 3T 542.3} 

 

   Christ has made it possible for you to be received as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. The Saviour will receive you as you come to Him, and will give you power to overcome. He declares “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Will you not appreciate this great gift of life, eternal life in the kingdom of God? Read in the Scriptures of the advantages offered to those who live for Christ, and you will see that those who live for self will at last lose all. Do not allow the world to engross your thoughts. Take your position on the side of Christ. Be willing to share the trials and disappointments and self-denials that came to Him in the life that He lived for us on this earth.—Letter 226, 1903. { TSA 60.1 } 

 

   There exists in the hearts of many an element of selfishness which clings to them like the leprosy. They have so long consulted their own wishes, their own pleasure and convenience, that they do not feel that others have claims upon them. Their thoughts, plans, and efforts are for themselves. They live for self, and do not cultivate disinterested benevolence, which if exercised, would increase and strengthen until it would be their delight to live for others’ good. This selfishness must be seen and overcome, for it is a grievous sin in the sight of God. They need to exercise a more special interest for humanity; and in thus doing, they would bring their souls into closer connection with Christ, and would be imbued with His Spirit, so that they would cleave to Him with so firm a tenacity that nothing could separate them from His love.  { HP 232.2} 

 

   There exists in the hearts of many an element of selfishness which clings to them like the leprosy. They have so long consulted their own wishes, their own pleasure and convenience, that they do not feel that others have claims upon them. Their thoughts, plans, and efforts are for themselves. They live for self, and do not cultivate disinterested benevolence, which, if exercised, would increase and strengthen until it would be their delight to live for others’ good. This selfishness must be seen and overcome; for it is a grievous sin in the sight of God. They need to exercise a more special interest for humanity; and in thus doing, they would bring their souls into closer connection with Christ, and would be imbued with his Spirit, so that they would cleave to him with so firm a tenacity that nothing could separate them from his love. { RH July 13, 1886, par. 2 }

 

  Those who do not live for self will not use up every dollar meeting their supposed wants and supplying their conveniences, but will bear in mind that they are Christ’s followers, and that there are others who are in need of food and clothing.  { AH 382.2} 

 

  Giving for the necessity of the saints and for the advancement of the kingdom of God, is preaching practical sermons, which testify that those who give have not received the grace of God in vain. A living example of an unselfish character, which is after the example of Christ, has great power upon men. Those who do not live for self, will not use up every dollar meeting their supposed wants, and supplying their conveniences, but will bear in mind that they are Christ’s followers, and that there are others who are in need of food and clothing.  { CS 29.1} 
 
  There is a great work to be done by our sanitariums and schools. Time is short. What is done must be done quickly. Let those who are connected with these important instrumentalities be wholly converted. Let them not live for self, for worldly purposes, withholding themselves from full consecration to God’s service. Let them give themselves, body, soul, and spirit, to God, to be used by Him in saving souls. They are not at liberty to do with themselves as they please; they belong to God, for He has bought them with the lifeblood of His only-begotten Son.  And as they learn to abide in Christ, there will remain in the heart no room for selfishness. In His service they will find the fullest satisfaction. { CT 522.2} 

 

           t o    l i v e    f o r    s e l f                                        

            The  phrase  'Live for self'  appears  31  times in the published writings of EGW 

  Men are not naturally inclined to be benevolent, but to be sordid and avaricious, and to live for self.  And Satan is ever ready to present the advantages to be gained by using all their means for selfish, worldly purposes; he is glad when he can influence them to shirk duty, and rob God in tithes and offerings. But not one is excused in this matter. “Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” The poor and the rich, the young men and the young women who earn wages,—all are to lay by a portion; for God claims it. The spiritual prosperity of every member of the church depends on personal effort and strict fidelity to God.—Testimonies for the Church 5:382. { CSW 138.2} 

 

  Under God, Adam was to stand at the head of the earthly family, to maintain the principles of the heavenly family. This would have brought peace and happiness. But the law that none “liveth to himself” ( Romans 14:7), Satan was determined to oppose. He desired to live for self.  He sought to make himself a center of influence. It was this that had incited rebellion in heaven, and it was man’s acceptance of this principle that brought sin on earth. When Adam sinned, man broke away from the heaven-ordained center. A demon became the central power in the world. Where God’s throne should have been, Satan placed his throne. The world laid its homage, as a willing offering, at the feet of the enemy. { Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 33 } and { 2MCP 566.2 } 

 

  I ask those who live in the vanity of self-indulgence, Will you continue to act as if there rested on you no responsibility to practice self-denial?  For what purpose are you living? What good are you accomplishing?  Can you afford to live for self?  Can you gain eternal life while you live thus?  Has not God a place and a work for you?  Is there not something more for you to do than merely to please and gratify self? — Letter 4a, 1902. { MM 133.3} 

 

  Every act of life, however small, has its bearing for good or for evil. Faithfulness or neglect in what are apparently the smallest duties may open the door for life’s richest blessings or its greatest calamities. It is little things that test the character.  It is the unpretending acts of daily self-denial, performed with a cheerful, willing heart, that God smiles upon.  We are not to live for self, but for others. And it is only by self-forgetfulness, by cherishing a loving, helpful spirit, that we can make our life a blessing. The little attentions, the small, simple courtesies, go far to make up the sum of life’s happiness, and the neglect of these constitutes no small share of human wretchedness. { PP 158.2}  and  { CC 52.4} 

 

   Ministers have neglected to enforce gospel beneficence. The subject of tithes and offerings has not been dwelt upon as it should have been. Men are not naturally inclined to be benevolent, but to be sordid and avaricious, and to live for self. And Satan is ever ready to present the advantages to be gained by using all their means for selfish, worldly purposes; he is glad when he can influence them to shirk duty and rob God in tithes and offerings. But not one is excused in this matter. “Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” The poor and the rich, the young men and the young women who earn wages—all are to lay by a portion; for God claims it. The spiritual prosperity of every member of the church depends on personal effort and strict fidelity to God. Says the apostle Paul: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” All are required to show a deep interest in the cause of God in its various branches, and close and unexpected tests will be brought to bear upon them to see who are worthy to receive the seal of the living God. { 5T 382.1} 

 

  “None of us liveth to himself.” Romans 14:7. This is a law of God in heaven and on earth. God is the great center. From Him all life proceeds. To Him all service, homage, and allegiance belong. For all created beings there is the one great principle of life—dependence upon and co-operation with God. The relationship existing in the pure family of God in heaven was to exist in the family of God on earth. Under God, Adam was to stand at the head of the earthly family to maintain the principles of the heavenly family. This would have brought peace and happiness. But the law that none “liveth to himself” Satan was determined to oppose. He desired to live for self. He sought to make himself a center of influence. It was this that incited rebellion in heaven, and it was man’s acceptance of this principle that brought sin on earth. When Adam sinned, man broke away from the heaven-ordained center. A demon became the central power in the world. Where God’s throne should have been, Satan had placed his throne. The world laid its homage, as a willing offering, at the feet of the enemy. { 6T 236.1} 

 

   Have you so deep an appreciation of the sacrifice made on Calvary that you are willing to make every other interest subordinate to the work of saving souls? The same intensity of desire to save sinners that marked the life of the Saviour marks the life of His true follower. The Christian has no desire to live for self. He delights to consecrate all that he has and is to the Master’s service. He is moved by an inexpressible desire to win souls to Christ. Those who have nothing of this desire might better be concerned for their own salvation. Let them pray for the spirit of service. { 7T 10.1} 

 

   Have you so deep an appreciation of the sacrifice made on Calvary that you are willing to make every other interest subordinate to the work of saving souls? The same intensity of desire to save sinners that marked the life of the Saviour marks the life of His true follower. The Christian has no desire to live for self.  He delights to consecrate all that he has and is to the Master’s service. He is moved by an inexpressible desire to win souls to Christ.... { LHU 58.4}  and { Maranatha, 100.4} 

 

   To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self’s sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others. { OHC 287.3} 

 

   We all have a personal influence, and our words and actions leave an indelible impress. It is our duty not to live for self, but for the good of others—not to be controlled by feelings, but to consider that our influence is a power for good or evil. God would have His workmen be that which David charged Solomon to be, “Show yourself a man.” ...  { UL 55.4} 
 

 

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Self (Separate page) Selfishness ( 3,294 )