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Counsels on Stewardship

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    God's Claim Upon Us

    God has a claim on us and all that we have. His claim is paramount to every other. And in acknowledgment of this claim, He bids us render to Him a fixed proportion of all that He gives us. The tithe is this specified portion. By the Lord's direction it was consecrated to Him in the earliest times....CS 71.1

    When God delivered Israel from Egypt to be a special treasure unto Himself, He taught them to devote a tithe of their possessions to the service of the tabernacle. This was a special offering, for a special work. All that remained of their property was God's, and was to be used to His glory. But the tithe was set apart for the support of those who ministered in the sanctuary. It was to be given from the first fruits of all the increase, and, with gifts and offerings, it provided ample means for supporting the ministry of the gospel for that time.CS 71.2

    God requires no less of us than He required of His people anciently. His gifts to us are not less, but greater, than they were to Israel of old. His service requires, and ever will require, means. The great missionary work for the salvation of souls is to be carried forward. In the tithe, with gifts and offerings, God has made ample provision for this work. He intends that the ministry of the gospel shall be fully sustained. He claims the tithe as His own, and it should ever be regarded as a sacred reserve, to be placed in His treasury for the benefit of His cause, for the advancement of His work, for sending His messengers into “regions beyond,” even to the uttermost parts of the earth.CS 71.3

    God has laid His hand upon all things, both man and his possessions; for all belong to Him. He says, I am the owner of the world; the universe is Mine, and I require you to consecrate to My service the first fruits of all that I, through My blessing, have caused to come into your hands. God's word declares, “Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits.” “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase.” This tribute He demands as a token of our loyalty to Him.CS 72.1

    We belong to God; we are His sons and daughters,—His by creation, and His by the gift of His only-begotten Son for our redemption. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” The mind, the heart, the will, and the affections belong to God; the money that we handle is the Lord's. Every good that we receive and enjoy is the result of divine benevolence. God is the bountiful giver of all good, and He desires that there shall be an acknowledgment, on the part of the receiver, of these gifts that provide for every necessity of the body and the soul. God demands only His own. The primary portion is the Lord's, and must be used as His entrusted treasure. The heart that is divested of selfishness will awaken to a sense of God's goodness and love, and be moved to a hearty acknowledgment of His righteous requirements.—The Review and Herald, December 8, 1896.CS 72.2

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