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Counsels on Stewardship

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    Section 12—Saving to Give

    Chapter 56—Left to the Honor of Men

    The only plan which the gospel has marked out for sustaining the work of God is one that leaves the support of His cause to the honor of men. With an eye single to the glory of God, men are to give to God the proportion which He has required. Viewing the cross of Calvary, looking upon the world's Redeemer, who for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich, we shall feel that we are not to lay up for ourselves treasures on the earth, but to lay up treasures in the bank of heaven, which will never suspend payment nor fail. The Lord has given Jesus to our world, and the question is, What can we give back to God in gifts and offerings to show our appreciation of His love? “Freely ye have received, freely give.”CS 287.1

    How much more eager will every faithful steward be to enlarge the proportion of gifts to be placed in the Lord's treasure house, than to decrease his offering one jot or tittle. Whom is he serving? For whom is he preparing an offering?—For the One upon whom he is dependent for every good thing which he enjoys. Then let not one of us who is receiving the grace of Christ, give occasion for the angels to be ashamed of us, and for Jesus to be ashamed to call us brethren.CS 287.2

    Shall ingratitude be cultivated, and made manifest by our niggardly practices in giving to the cause of God?—No, no! Let us surrender ourselves a living sacrifice, and give our all to Jesus. It is His; we are His purchased possession. Those who are recipients of His grace, who contemplate the cross of Calvary, will not question concerning the proportion to be given, but will feel that the richest offering is all too meager, all disproportionate to the great gift of the only-begotten Son of the infinite God. Through self-denial, the poorest will find ways of obtaining some thing to give back to God.CS 287.3

    Stewardship of Time

    Time is money, and many are wasting precious time which might be used in useful labor, working with their hands the thing that is good. The Lord will never say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” to the man who has not taxed the physical powers which have been lent him of God as precious talents by which to gather means, wherewith the needy may be supplied, and offerings may be made to God.CS 288.1

    The rich are not to feel that they can be content in giving of their money merely. They have talents of ability, and they are to study to show themselves approved unto God, to be earnest spiritual agents in educating and training their children for fields of usefulness. Parents and children are not to regard themselves as their own, and feel that they can dispose of their time and property as shall please themselves. They are God's purchased possession, and the Lord calls for the profit of their physical powers, which are to be employed in bringing a revenue to the treasury of the Lord.CS 288.2

    Self-Denial and the Cross

    Were the thousand channels of selfishness cut off that now exist, and the means directed in the right channel, there would be a large revenue flowing into the treasury. Many purchase idols with money that should go to the house of God. No one can practice real benevolence without practicing genuine self-denial. Self-denial and the cross lie directly in the path of every Christian who is truly following Christ. Jesus says: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Will every soul consider the fact that Christian discipleship includes self-denial, self-sacrifice, even to the laying down of life itself, if need be, for the sake of Him who has given His life for the life of the world?CS 288.3

    Christians who view Christ upon the cross, are bound by their obligation to God because of the infinite gift of His Son, to withhold nothing which they possess, however dear it may be to them. If they possess anything that can be employed to draw any soul, no matter how rich, or no matter how poor, to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, they are to use it freely for this purpose. The Lord employs human agents to be coworkers with Him in the salvation of sinners.CS 289.1

    All heaven is actively engaged in furnishing facilities by which to extend the knowledge of the truth to all peoples, nations, and tongues. If those who profess to have been truly converted, do not let their light shine forth to others, they are neglecting the doing of the words of Christ.CS 289.2

    We need not tax ourselves with rehearsing how much has been given to the cause of God, but rather let us consider how much has been kept back from His treasury to be devoted to the indulgence of self in pleasure seeking and self-gratification. We need not reckon up how many agents have been sent forth, but rather recount how many have closed the eyes of their understanding, so that they might not see their duty and minister to others according to their several ability.CS 289.3

    How many might now be employed were there means in the treasury to sustain them in the work! How many facilities might be used in extending the work of God as His providence opens the way! Hundreds could be employed in the field in doing good in various branches, but they are not there. Why?—Selfishness keeps them at home; they love ease, and so remain away from the vineyard of the Lord. Some would go into regions beyond, but they have not the means to take them; for others have left undone that which they ought to have done. These are some of the reasons why a few workers have to go loaded down as a cart beneath sheaves, while others take no burden.—The Review and Herald, July 14, 1896.CS 289.4

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