Welfare Ministry


Chapter 41—Reflex Blessings

The Law of Action and Reaction—Divine wisdom has appointed in the plan of salvation the law of action and reaction, making the work of beneficence, in all its branches, twice blessed. He that gives to the needy blesses others, and is blessed himself in a still greater degree. God could have reached His object in saving sinners without the aid of man, but He knew that man could not be happy without acting a part in the great work in which he would be cultivating self-denial and benevolence. That man might not lose the blessed results of benevolence, our Redeemer formed the plan of enlisting him as His co-worker.—Testimonies for the Church 3:382. WM 301.1

It is as we give ourselves to God for the service of humanity that He gives Himself to us. No one can give place in his own heart and life for the stream of God's blessings to flow to others without receiving in himself a rich reward.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 81, 82. WM 301.2

Helping Others Will Develop Character—It is in doing the works of Christ, ministering as He did to the suffering and afflicted, that we are to develop Christian character. It is for our good that God has called us to practice self-denial for Christ's sake, to bear the cross, to labor and sacrifice in seeking to save that which is lost. This is the Lord's process of refining, purging away the baser material, that the precious traits of character which were in Christ Jesus, may appear in the believer.... Through the grace of Christ our efforts to bless others are not only the means of our growth in grace, but they will enhance our future eternal happiness. To those who have been co-workers with Christ it will be said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things.”—The Review and Herald, June 27, 1893. WM 301.3

The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character and brings peace and happiness to its possessor.—Testimonies for the Church 5:607. WM 302.1

The Source of True Happiness—In doing for others a sweet satisfaction will be experienced, an inward peace which will be a sufficient reward. When actuated by a high and noble desire to do others good, they will find true happiness in a faithful discharge of life's manifold duties.—Testimonies for the Church 2:132. WM 302.2

Real happiness is found only in being good and doing good.—The Youth's Instructor, December 5, 1901. WM 302.3

Our happiness will be proportionate to our unselfish works, prompted by divine love, for in the plan of salvation God has appointed the law of action and reaction.—The Signs of the Times, November 25, 1886. WM 302.4

Welfare Work Induces Health—Those who give practical demonstrations of their benevolence by their sympathy and compassionate acts toward the poor, and suffering, and the unfortunate, not only relieve the sufferers, but contribute largely to their own happiness, and are in the way of securing health of soul and body. Isaiah has ... plainly described the work that God will accept and bless His people in doing.—Testimonies for the Church 4:60. WM 302.5

I call your attention to the sure results of heeding the Lord's admonition to care for the afflicted: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” Is not this what we all crave? Oh, there is health and peace in doing the will of our Heavenly Father. “Thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shalt be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”—The Medical Missionary, June, 1891. WM 302.6

How Welfare Work Induces Health—The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.—Testimonies for the Church 4:56. WM 303.1

The sympathy which exists between the mind and the body is very great. When one is affected the other responds. The condition of the mind has much to do with the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, under a consciousness of rightdoing and a sense of satisfaction in causing happiness to others, it will create a cheerfulness that will react upon the whole system, causing a freer circulation of the blood and a toning up of the entire body. The blessing of God is a healer, and those who are abundant in benefiting others will realize that wondrous blessing in their hearts and lives.—Testimonies for the Church 4:60. WM 303.2

A Remedy for Disease—Some plead their poor health—they would love to do if they had strength. Such have so long shut themselves up to themselves and thought so much of their own poor feelings and talked so much of their sufferings, trials, and afflictions that it is their present truth. They can think of no one but self, however much others may be in need of sympathy and assistance. You who are suffering with poor health, there is a remedy for you. If thou clothe the naked, and bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, and deal thy bread to the hungry, “then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily.” Doing good is an excellent remedy for disease. Those who engage in the work are invited to call upon God, and He has pledged Himself to answer them. Their soul shall be satisfied in drought, and they shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not.—Testimonies for the Church 2:29. WM 303.3

This is the recipe that Christ has prescribed for the fainthearted, doubting, trembling soul. Let the sorrowful ones, who walk mournfully before the Lord, arise and help someone who needs help.—Testimonies for the Church 6:266. WM 304.1

Sympathy Productive of Much Good—When human sympathy is blended with love and benevolence and sanctified by the Spirit of Jesus, it is an element which can be productive of great good. Those who cultivate benevolence are not only doing a good work for others and blessing those who receive the good action, but they are benefiting themselves by opening their hearts to the benign influence of true benevolence. Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings, given or done with an eye to God's glory, will result in blessings to the giver. Those who are thus working are obeying a law of heaven and will receive the approval of God.... WM 304.2

Jesus knew the influence of benevolence upon the heart and life of the benefactor, and He sought to impress upon the minds of His disciples the benefits to be derived from the exercise of this virtue. He says: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” He illustrates the spirit of cheerful benevolence, which should be exercised toward friends, neighbors, and strangers, by the parable of the man who journeyed from Jerusalem to Jericho.—Testimonies for the Church 4:56, 57. WM 305.1

In Saving His Neighbor He Saved Himself—A working church is a growing church. The members find a stimulus and a tonic in helping others. I have read of a man who, journeying on a winter's day through deep drifts of snow, became benumbed by the cold, which was almost imperceptibly freezing his vital powers. He was nearly chilled to death and was about to give up the struggle for life, when he heard the moans of a fellow traveler who was also perishing with cold. His sympathy was aroused, and he determined to rescue him. He chafed the ice-cold limbs of the unfortunate man, and after considerable effort raised him to his feet. As the sufferer could not stand, he bore him in sympathizing arms through the very drifts he had thought he could never get through alone. WM 305.2

When he had carried his fellow traveler to a place of safety, the truth flashed home to him that in saving his neighbor he had also saved himself. His earnest efforts to help another had quickened the blood that was freezing in his own veins and sent a healthy warmth to the extremities of his body. WM 305.3

The lesson that in helping others we ourselves receive help, must be urged upon young believers continually, by precept and example, that in their Christian experience they may gain the best results. Let the desponding ones, those disposed to think that the way to eternal life is trying and difficult, go to work to help others. Such efforts, united with prayer for divine light, will cause their own hearts to throb with the quickening influence of the grace of God, their own affections to glow with more divine fervor. Their whole Christian life will be more of a reality, more earnest, more prayerful.—Gospel Workers, 198, 199. WM 305.4

The Church Is Blessed—Let church members during the week act their part faithfully, and on the Sabbath tell their experiences. The meeting will then be as meat in due season, bringing to all present new life and fresh vigor. When God's people see the great need of working as Christ worked for the conversion of sinners, the testimonies borne by them in the Sabbath services will be filled with power. With joy they will bear witness to the preciousness of the experience they have gained in working for others.—Gospel Workers, 199. WM 306.1

Our Own Graces Exercised—Had there been nothing in the world to work at cross purposes with us, patience, forbearance, gentleness, meekness, and longsuffering would not have been called into action. The more these graces are exercised, the more will they be increased and strengthened. The more we deal our temporal bread to the hungry, the oftener we clothe the naked, visit the sick, and relieve the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, the more decidedly shall we realize the blessing of God.—Manuscript 64, 1894. WM 306.2

Why Blessings Are Withheld—The blessing of God cannot come upon those who are idlers in His vineyard. Professed Christians who do nothing neutralize the efforts of real workers by their influence and example. They make the grand and important truths they profess to believe, appear inconsistent, and cause them to have no effect. They misrepresent the character of Christ. How can God let the showers of His grace come upon the churches that are largely composed of this kind of members? They are of no manner of use in the work of God. How can the Master say to such, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” when they have been neither good nor faithful? God cannot speak a falsehood. The power of the grace of God cannot be given in large measure to the churches. It would dishonor His own glorious character to let streams of grace come upon the people who will not wear the yoke of Christ, who will not bear His burdens, who will not deny self, who will not lift the cross of Christ. Because of their slothfulness they are a hindrance to those who would move out in the work if they did not block up the way.—The Review and Herald, July 21, 1896. WM 306.3

Become a Living Stream of Good Deeds—If God and Christ and angels rejoice when even one sinner repents and becomes obedient to Christ, should not man be imbued with the same spirit, and work for time and for eternity with persevering effort to save, not only his own soul, but the souls of others? If you work in this direction with wholehearted interest as the followers of Christ, discharging every duty, improving every opportunity, your own souls will be gradually settling into the mold of a perfect Christian. The heart will not be sere and unfeeling. The spiritual life will not be dwarfed. The heart will glow with the impress of the divine image, for it will be in close sympathy with God. The whole life will flow out with cheerful readiness in channels of love and sympathy for humanity. Self will be forgotten, and the ways of this class will be established in God. In watering others their own souls will be watered. The stream flowing through their souls is from a living spring and is flowing out to others in good deeds, in earnest, unselfish effort for their salvation. In order to be a fruitful tree, the soul must derive its support and nourishment from the Fountain of Life and must be in harmony with the Creator.—The Review and Herald, January 2, 1879. WM 307.1

The Reason for Barrenness—None of our churches need be barren and unfruitful. But some of our brethren and sisters are in danger of starving to death spiritually even when they are constantly hearing the truth presented by our ministers, for they neglect to impart that which they receive. God requires every one of His stewards to use the talent entrusted to him. He bestows rich gifts upon us in order that we may bestow them freely upon others. He keeps the heart flooded with the light of His presence, in order that we may reveal Christ to our fellow men. How can those who fold their hands in ease, content to do nothing, expect God to continue to supply their necessities? The members of all our churches should labor as those who must give an account.—The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902. WM 308.1

Our Destiny Involved—It is the work that we do or do not do that tells with tremendous power upon our lives and destinies. God requires us to improve every opportunity for usefulness that is offered us. Neglect to do this is perilous to our spiritual growth.—Testimonies for the Church 3:540. WM 308.2

He Who Lives to Please Himself Is Not a Christian—“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thine house? When thou seest the naked that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” How much of this hiding has been done! How many have closed the eyes and locked the door of the heart, lest a softening influence should prompt them to works of kindness and charity! The work of Christ never ceases. His tender love and goodness are inexhaustible; His mercy is over all the children of men. The Lord Jesus means that you shall be blessed in imparting to His needy, suffering ones. He has made men His copartners. “We are labourers together with God.” Has not Christ, by both precept and example, plainly taught us what we should do? We are to work, imbued with His Spirit, as we look to the cross, ready if He bids us, to leave all for His sake. He who lives to please himself is not a Christian. He has not been created anew in Christ Jesus. WM 309.1

The Christian feels that no other being in the universe has the claim to him which Jesus has. He is a purchased possession, bought by the costly price of the blood of the Lamb. He is to devote himself unreservedly to Christ; his thoughts, his words, and all his works are to be subject to the will of Christ.—The Medical Missionary, June, 1891. WM 309.2

Contentment Here and Eternal Reward Hereafter—In order to be happy, we must strive to attain to that character which Christ exhibited. One marked peculiarity of Christ was His self-denial and benevolence. He came not to seek His own. He went about doing good, and this was His meat and drink. We may, by following the example of the Saviour, be in holy communion with Him; and by daily seeking to imitate His character and follow His example we shall be a blessing to the world and shall secure for ourselves contentment here and an eternal reward hereafter.—Testimonies for the Church 4:227. WM 309.3