Welfare Ministry


Chapter 35—Releasing the Streams of Benevolence

To Be God's Almoners—God has placed property in the hands of men in order that they may learn to be merciful, to be His almoners to relieve the suffering of His fallen creatures.—The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1892. WM 268.1

To Keep Hearts Tender and Sympathetic—Acts of generosity and benevolence were designed by God to keep the hearts of the children of men tender and sympathetic and to encourage in them an interest and affection for one another in imitation of the Master, who for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.—Testimonies for the Church 3:547. WM 268.2

Streams of Beneficence to Be Kept Flowing—The small streams of beneficence must be ever kept flowing into the treasury. God's providence is far ahead, moving onward much faster than our liberalities.—Manuscript 26, 1891. WM 268.3

A Constant Flow of Gifts—The money that God has entrusted to men is to be used in blessing humanity, in relieving the necessities of the suffering and the needy. Men are not to feel that they have done a very wonderful thing when they have endowed certain institutions or churches with large gifts. In the wise providence of God there are constantly presented before them the very ones who need their help. They are to relieve the suffering, clothe the naked, and help many who are in hard and trying circumstances, who are wrestling with all their energies to keep themselves and their families from a pauper's home.—The Review and Herald, January 4, 1898. WM 268.4

We Ask for Others—When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask for others as well as ourselves. And we acknowledge that what God gives us is not for ourselves alone. God gives to us in trust, that we may feed the hungry. Of His goodness He has prepared for the poor. And He says, “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours.... But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 111, 112. WM 269.1

God's Superscription on Every Dollar—Whatever may be the sum of our talents, whether one, two, or five, not a farthing of our money is to be squandered upon vanity, pride, or selfishness. Every dollar of our accumulation is stamped with the image and superscription of God. As long as there are hungry ones in God's world to be fed, naked ones to be clothed, souls perishing for the bread and water of salvation, every unnecessary indulgence, every overplus of capital, pleads for the poor and the naked.—The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1892. WM 269.2

Streams of Beneficence Dried Up—The more means persons expend in dress, the less they can have to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; and the streams of beneficence, which should be constantly flowing, are dried up. Every dollar saved by denying one's self of useless ornaments may be given to the needy or may be placed in the Lord's treasury to sustain the gospel, to send missionaries to foreign countries, to multiply publications to carry rays of light to souls in the darkness of error. Every dollar used unnecessarily deprives the spender of a precious opportunity to do good.—Testimonies for the Church 4:645, 646. WM 269.3

God Calls for Self-Denial—God calls upon the young to deny themselves of needless ornaments and articles of dress, even if they cost but a few dimes, and place the amount in the charity box. He also calls upon those of mature age to stop when they are examining a gold watch or chain or some expensive article of furniture and ask themselves the question: Would it be right to expend so large an amount for that which we could do without or when a cheaper article would serve our purpose just as well? By denying yourselves and lifting the cross for Jesus, who for your sakes became poor, you can do much toward relieving the suffering of the poor among us; and by thus imitating the example of your Lord and Master you will receive His approval and blessing.—Testimonies for the Church 4:511. WM 270.1

Not a Light Matter to Be the Lord's Steward—What if they should see inscribed upon their expensive decorations in their homes, the pictures, and furniture, “Bring the poor that are cast out to thy house”! In the dining room, where the table is laden with abundant food, the finger of God has traced, “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?” WM 270.2

Let all, old and young, consider that it is not a light matter to be the Lord's steward and to be charged in the books of heaven with using in a selfish manner. The needy, the oppressed, are left in want, while the Lord's money is selfishly squandered in extravagance and luxury. O that all will remember that God is no respecter of persons! It is a great thing to be a steward, faithful and true, before a just impartial God, who will not excuse in any of His stewards any unfairness or any robbery toward Him.—Manuscript 11, 1892. WM 270.3

A Wonderful Reformation Promised—When the grace of Christ is expressed in the words and works of the believers, light will shine forth to those who are in darkness; for while the lips are speaking to the praise of God, the hand will be stretched out in beneficence for the help of the perishing. We read that on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, no man said that aught that he possessed was his own. All they owned was held for the advance of the wonderful reformation. And thousands were converted in a day. When the same spirit actuates believers today, and they give back to God of His own with the same liberality, a wide and far-reaching work will be accomplished.—Manuscript 95, 1907. WM 271.1