“It is evident that all the sermons that have been preached have not developed a large class of self-denying workers. This subject is to be considered as involving the most serious results. Our future for eternity is at stake. The churches are withering up because they have failed to use their talents in diffusing light” (Christian Service, 58).
“In order to become acquainted with the disappointments and trials and griefs that come to human beings, Christ reached to the lowest depths of woe and humiliation. He has traveled the path that He asks His followers to travel. He says to them, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ But professing Christians are not always willing to practice the self-denial that the Saviour calls for. They are not willing to bind about their wishes and desires in order that they may have more to give to the Lord. One says, ‘My family are expensive in their tastes, and it costs much to keep them.’ This shows that he and they need to learn the lessons of economy taught by the life of Christ. . . .
“To all comes the temptation to gratify selfish, extravagant desires, but let us remember that the Lord of life and glory came to this world to teach humanity the lesson of self-denial” (Adventist Home, 381, 382).
“I present before you the life of self-denial, humility, and sacrifice of our divine Lord. The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, left His riches, His splendor, His honor and glory, and, in order to save sinful man, condescended to a life of humility, poverty, and shame; ‘who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.’ Oh, why are we so sensitive to trial and reproach, to shame and suffering, when our Lord has given us such an example? Who would wish to enter into the joy of their Lord while they were unwilling to partake of His sufferings? What! the servant unwilling to bear the humility and shame and reproach which the Master bore unselfishly for him! the servant shrinking from a life of humility and sacrifice which is for his own eternal happiness, by which he may finally obtain an exceedingly great, an eternal reward! The language of my heart is: Let me be a partaker with Christ of His sufferings, that I may finally share with Him the glory.
“The truth of God has never been popular with the world. The natural heart is ever averse to the truth. I thank God that we must renounce the love of the world, and pride of heart, and everything which tends to idolatry, in order to be followers of the Man of Calvary. Those who obey the truth will never be loved and honored by the world. From the lips of the divine Teacher, as He walked in humility among the children of men, were heard the words: Whosoever will be My disciple, let him take up his cross, and follow Me. Yes, follow our Exemplar. Was He seeking for praise and honor of men? Oh, no! Shall we then seek for honor or praise from worldlings?” (Testimonies for the Church, 2:490, 491).
“Those who realize, even in a limited degree, what redemption means to them and to their fellow men, will walk by faith, and they will comprehend in some measure the vast needs of humanity. Their hearts are moved to compassion as they behold the widespread destitution in our world—multitudes suffering for food and clothing, and the moral destitution of thousands upon thousands who are under the shadow of a terrible doom, in comparison with which physical suffering fades into nothingness. The religion of Jesus Christ has gained wonderful victories over human selfishness. The self-denial, the self-sacrifice of Christ is ever before those who are co-workers with Him, and the will of man becomes submerged in the will of God” (Selected Messages, 2:216).
“Herein lies a most important lesson for God’s people today, —a lesson that many are slow to learn. The spirit of covetousness, of seeking for the highest position and the highest wage, is rife in the world. The old-time spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice is too seldom met with. But this is the only spirit that can actuate a true follower of Jesus. Our divine Master has given us an example of how we are to work. And to those whom He bade, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,’ He offered no stated sum as a reward for their services. They were to share with Him His self-denial and sacrifice” (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 2:1028).