Welfare Ministry


Chapter 42—The Present and Eternal Rewards

Service Brings Reward—While the great final reward is given at Christ's coming, truehearted service for God brings a reward even in this life.—Testimonies for the Church 6:305, 306. WM 311.1

Brought Closer to Jesus—When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.—Testimonies for the Church 2:25. WM 311.2

A Richer Experience Promised—To practice the principles of love which Christ taught by precept and example will make the experience of everyone who follows him like the experience of Christ.—The Review and Herald, January 15, 1895. WM 311.3

As you open your door to Christ's needy and suffering ones, you are welcoming unseen angels. You invite the companionship of heavenly beings. They bring a sacred atmosphere of joy and peace. They come with praises upon their lips, and an answering strain is heard in heaven. Every deed of mercy makes music there.—The Desire of Ages, 639. WM 311.4

Will Thrill With Satisfaction—There is earnest work for every pair of hands to do. Let every stroke tell for the uplifting of humanity. There are so many that need to be helped. The heart of him who lives, not to please himself, but to be a blessing to those who have so few blessings, will thrill with satisfaction. Let every idler awake and face the realities of life. Take the Word of God and search its pages. If you are doers of this Word, life will indeed be to you a living reality, and you will find that the reward is abundant.—Manuscript 46, 1898. WM 311.5

Perplexing Problems Will Be Solved—If you will seek the Lord and be converted every day, if you will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God, if with gladsome consent of heart to His gracious call, you come wearing the yoke of Christ—the yoke of obedience and service—all your murmurings will be stilled, all your difficulties will be removed, all the perplexing problems that now confront you will be solved.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 101. WM 312.1

Often Repaid in the Coin of the Realm—The golden rule teaches, by implication, the same truth which is taught elsewhere in the sermon on the mount, that “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” That which we do to others, whether it be good or evil, will surely react upon ourselves, in blessing or in cursing. Whatever we give we shall receive again. The earthly blessings which we impart to others may be, and often are, repaid in kind. What we give does, in time of need, often come back to us in fourfold measure in the coin of the realm. But, besides this, all gifts are repaid, even in this life, in the fuller inflowing of His love, which is the sum of all heaven's glory and its treasure.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 136. WM 312.2

God Will Repay—In heaven a book is written for those who interest themselves in the needs of their fellow beings, a book whose record will be revealed in that day when every man will be judged according to the deeds written therein. God will repay every act of injustice done to the poor. Those who manifest indifference or disregard for the unfortunate must not expect to receive the blessing of Him who declared, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”—Letter 140, 1908. WM 312.3

All Good Deeds Recorded—God has not been unmindful of the good deeds, the self-denying acts, of the church in the past. All are registered on high.—Testimonies for the Church 5:611. WM 313.1

Every faithful, unselfish performance of duty is noticed by the angels and shines in the life record.—Testimonies for the Church 2:132. WM 313.2

Angels are commissioned to be our helpers. They are passing between earth and heaven, bearing upward the record of the doings of the children of men.—The Southern Watchman, April 2, 1903, par. 8. WM 313.3

In Heaven's Imperishable Record—Every act of love, every word of kindness, every prayer in behalf of the suffering and oppressed, is reported before the eternal throne and placed on heaven's imperishable record.—Testimonies for the Church 5:133. WM 313.4

It were well ... to remember the record kept on high—that book in which there are no omissions, no mistakes, and out of which they will be judged. There every neglected opportunity to do service for God is recorded; and there, too, every deed of faith and love is held in everlasting remembrance.—Prophets and Kings, 639. WM 313.5

Reward for Welfare Work—Those who will receive the most abundant reward will be those who have mingled with their activity and zeal, gracious, tender pity for the poor, the orphan, the oppressed, and the afflicted.... There are about us those who have a meek and lowly spirit, the Spirit of Christ, who do many little things to help those around them, and who think nothing of it; they will be astonished at last to find that Christ has noticed the kind word spoken to the disheartened, and taken account of the smallest gift given for the relief of the poor, that cost the giver some self-denial.—The Review and Herald, July 3, 1894. WM 313.6

God Takes Note of Works of Kindness—Every act of justice, mercy, and benevolence makes melody in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds those who do these acts of mercy and numbers them with His most precious treasures. “And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.” Every merciful act to the needy, the suffering, is regarded as though done to Jesus.—Testimonies for the Church 2:25. WM 314.1

Rewarded for Little Things Generally Overlooked—At the day of judgment those who have been faithful in their everyday life, who have been quick to see their work and do it, not thinking of praise or profit, will hear the words, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Christ does not commend them for the eloquent orations they have made, the intellectual power they have displayed, or the liberal donations they have given. It is for doing little things that are generally overlooked that they are rewarded.—The Youth's Instructor, January 17, 1901. WM 314.2

When the cases of all come in review before God, the question, What did they profess? will not be asked, but, What have they done? Have they been doers of the word? Have they lived for themselves, or have they been exercised in works of benevolence, in deeds of kindness and love, preferring others before themselves, and denying themselves that they might bless others? If the record shows that this has been their life, that their characters have been marked with tenderness, self-denial, and benevolence, they will receive the blessed assurance and benediction from Christ, “Well done.” “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”—Testimonies for the Church 3:525. WM 314.3

Right Motivation Essential—It is the motive that gives character to our acts, stamping them with ignominy or with high moral worth. Not the great things which every eye sees and every tongue praises does God account most precious. The little duties cheerfully done, the little gifts which make no show, and which to human eyes may appear worthless, often stand highest in His sight. A heart of faith and love is dearer to God than the most costly gift.—The Desire of Ages, 615. WM 315.1

To Be Judged by Our Motives—Daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to reach perfection of Christian character. Many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of benevolence, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by wrong motives. WM 315.2

Many receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. The Searcher of hearts weighs the motives, and often deeds highly applauded by men are recorded by Him as springing from selfishness and base hypocrisy. Every act of our lives, whether excellent and praiseworthy or deserving of censure, is judged by the Searcher of hearts according to the motives which prompted it.—Gospel Workers, 275. WM 315.3

The Two Oars—Faith and Works—If we are faithful in doing our part, in cooperating with Him, God will work through us [to do] the good pleasure of His will. But He cannot work through us if we make no effort. If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly.... Let us not be deceived by the oft-repeated assertion, “All you have to do is to believe.” Faith and works are two oars which we must use equally if we [would] press our way up the stream against the current of unbelief. “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” The Christian is a man of thought and practice. His faith fixes its roots firmly in Christ. By faith and good works he keeps his spirituality strong and healthy, and his spiritual strength increases as he strives to work the works of God.—The Review and Herald, June 11, 1901. WM 315.4

Our Crowns May Be Bright or Dim—Although we have no merit in ourselves, in the great goodness and love of God we are rewarded as if the merit were our own. When we have done all the good we can possibly do, we are still unprofitable servants. We have done only what was our duty. What we have accomplished has been wrought solely through the grace of Christ, and no reward is due to us from God on the ground of our merit. But through the merit of our Saviour every promise that God has made will be fulfilled, and every man will be rewarded according to his deeds. WM 316.1

The precious rewards of the future will be proportioned to the work of faith and labor of love in the present life. “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” We should be most grateful that now in probationary time through the infinite mercy of God we are permitted to sow the seed for our future harvest. We should carefully consider what the harvest will be. Whether the crown of our eternal rejoicing shall be bright or dim depends upon our own course of action. We may make our calling and election sure, and may come into possession of the rich inheritance, or we may defraud ourselves of the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.—The Review and Herald, June 27, 1893. WM 316.2

To Meet Those Saved by Our Efforts—When the redeemed stand before God precious souls will respond to their names who are there because of the faithful, patient efforts put forth in their behalf, the entreaties and earnest persuasions to flee to the Stronghold. Thus those who in this world have been laborers together with God will receive their reward.—Testimonies for the Church 8:196, 197. WM 317.1

The redeemed will meet and recognize those whose attention they have directed to the uplifted Saviour. What blessed converse they have with these souls! “I was a sinner,” it will be said, “without God and without hope in the world, and you came to me, and drew my attention to the precious Saviour as my only hope.” ... WM 317.2

Others will express their gratitude to those who fed the hungry and clothed the naked. “When despair bound my soul in unbelief, the Lord sent you to me,” they say, “to speak words of hope and comfort. You brought me food for my physical necessities, and you opened to me the Word of God, awakening me to my spiritual needs. You treated me as a brother. You sympathized with me in my sorrows and restored my bruised and wounded soul so that I could grasp the hand of Christ that was reached out to save me. In my ignorance you taught me patiently that I had a Father in heaven who cared for me.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:311. WM 317.3

“Come, Ye Blessed of My Father.”—When the nations are gathered before Him there will be but two classes, and their eternal destiny will be determined by what they have done or have neglected to do for Him in the person of the poor and the suffering. In that day Christ does not present before men the great work He has done for them in giving His life for their redemption. He presents the faithful work they have done for Him. WM 318.1

To those whom He sets upon His right hand He will say, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.” But those whom Christ commends know not that they have been ministering unto Him. To their perplexed inquiries He answers, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” ... WM 318.2

Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God. WM 318.3

How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviour, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval.—The Desire of Ages, 637, 638. WM 319.1