No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Matthew 6:24.
Halfhearted Christians obscure the glory of God, misinterpret piety, and cause men to receive false ideas as to what constitutes vital godliness. Others think that they, also, can be Christians and yet consult their own tastes and make provision for the flesh, if these falsehearted professors can do so. On many a professed Christian’s banner the motto is written, “You can serve God and please self—you can serve God and mammon.” They profess to be wise virgins, but not having the oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps, they shed forth no light to the glory of God and for the salvation of men. They seek to do what the world’s Redeemer said was impossible to do; He has declared, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Those who profess to be Christians, but do not follow in the footsteps of Christ, make of none effect His words, and obscure the plan of salvation. By their spirit and deportment they virtually say, “Jesus, in Your day You did not understand as well as we do in our day, that man can serve God and mammon.” These professors of religion claim to keep the law of God, but they do not keep it. Oh, what would the standard of true manhood have become had it been left in the hands of man! God has lifted His own standard—the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; and the experience that follows complete surrender to God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.—The Review and Herald, August 19, 1890.
You need not wait to grow good; you need not think that any effort of yours will make your prayers acceptable, and bring you salvation. Let each man and woman pray to God, not to man. Let each one come to Christ in humility.
You should pray to God for yourself, believing that He listens to every word you utter. Lay bare your heart for His inspection, confess your sins, asking Him to forgive you, pleading the merits of the atonement, and then by faith contemplate the great scheme of redemption, and the Comforter will bring all things to your remembrance.
The more you study the character of Christ, the more attractive will He appear to you. He will become as one near you, in close companionship with you; your affections will go out after Him. If the mind is molded by the objects with which it has most to do, then to think of Jesus, to talk of Him, will enable you to become like Him in spirit and character. You will reflect His image in that which is great and pure and spiritual. You will have the mind of Christ, and He will send you forth to the world as His spiritual representative.