Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 14 (1899)


Ms 47, 1899

“God Loveth a Cheerful Giver.”


March 29, 1899

Portions of this manuscript are published in TDG 97; WM 279-280.

The apostle Paul declares, “He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” [2 Corinthians 9:6-8.] 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 1

Liberality is one of the directions of the Holy Spirit, and when the professed people of God withhold from the Lord His own in tithes and offerings, they meet with spiritual loss. The Lord does not reward a stinted liberality. He calls upon the people to honor Him with their substance, and wait the firstfruits of all their increase. 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 2

It is not possible to lay down rules for every case, for in many instances such a course would distress the giver. The circumstances in which some are placed, and which are of God’s appointment are to be considered. The Lord expects a man to impart of what he has and not of what he has not. With some a tenth of the income would not properly represent the proportion they should give to the Lord, while to others it is a fair return. 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 3

How many are losing rich blessings and becoming spiritually dwarfed because they withhold from God His own? The enemy of God and man is constantly at work to divert the treasures which belong to God to please and honor and glorify the human agent. My family needs call for this and for that, men say, and convenience after convenience is added to the house in furniture, in clothing, in dainties for the table. They fail to limit their desires, when by so doing they would bring blessing to themselves and to their families. 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 4

God has made us His almoners, co-partners with Him in the great work of advancing His kingdom on the earth. We may pursue the course taken by the unfaithful steward, and by so doing lose the most precious privileges ever granted to men. For thousands of years God has worked through human agencies, but at His will He can drop out the selfish, the money lover, the covetous. He can carry on His work though we act no part in it. But who among us would be pleased to have the Lord do this? 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 5

It were almost better not to give at all than to give in a grudging way. Let all bear in mind that they are dealing with God, upon whom they depend for every blessing. The Lord reads every thought of the heart, every impulse of the mind. If we have not the spirit to give freely, we mock Him. 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 6

When we show to the world, to angels, and to men that the prosperity of the cause of God is our first consideration, God will bless us. Sometimes He works through unbelievers, and unexpected relief comes. The Lord puts it into the hearts of men to help. The means coming in this way is not to be refused. When means comes from unbelievers it is to be used by the human agent to honor God. Every spiritually-minded, wholehearted giver will rightly apply every God-entrusted talent. The Lord does not have to depend upon our means. He will not be restricted by the human agent. His way is always the best way, and any help that may come to advance His cause and work in any of our institutions is to be used as coming from Him. Gifts from unbelievers are not to be refused. The money is the Lord’s, and is to be received with gratitude. Let God work and send by whom He will. 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 7

If the love of God is supreme in our hearts our love for wife, husband, children, relatives will be in accordance with the will of God. We are to keep ourselves from idols. Everything that would divide our affections and confuse our understanding in regard to our duty to God is sin. When we allow our means to flow into unnecessary channels, while the cause of God is left in poverty, we show that our minds are perverted. Who is sufficient for these things? may be the inquiry of those engaged in the work. We believe time is closing. Eternity is at hand. Our supply of means is limited, and the work to be done is great. It is now that faith must be exercised. Our sufficiency is in God. When we have worked to the best of our ability and judgment to use the means which we have at our command, we may leave the rest with God. We are to go forward, and the Lord will open the way. 14LtMs, Ms 47, 1899, par. 8