Counsels on Stewardship

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Counsels on Stewardship

Foreword

This volume, “Counsels on Stewardship,” has been compiled and is now sent forth in response to a widespread request for such a work. A vast array of very practical and helpful instruction from the Spirit of prophecy on stewardship has appeared during the years. This has been printed in both periodical and book form, but this work is composed largely of matter not now readily available to our workers and members. In the current volumes there is available much additional instruction on the same subject, very little of which has been used in this book. We are thankful indeed that all may now have access to this choice instruction given to the church in this convenient form. This volume has been compiled in the office of the Ellen G. White Publications under the direction of the Board of Trustees. CS 5.1

In the realm of Christian life and service the question of stewardship occupies a large and vital place. Every Christian believer is deeply and continuously concerned. Our recognition of the sovereignty of God, of his ownership of all things, and of the bestowal of his grace upon us, is included in a proper understanding of the principles of stewardship. As our comprehension of these principles grows and expands, we are led into a fuller understanding of the way God's love and grace operate in our lives. CS 5.2

While the principles of a stewardship concern material things, they are, above all, of a spiritual character. The service of Christ is a reality. The Lord requires certain things of us in order that he may do certain things for us. The doing of those required things in harmony with the divine will lifts the whole matter of stewardship to a high spiritual plane. The Lord is not exacting. He does not arbitrarily demand either that we serve him or that we recognize him by returning to him of those things which he gives to us. But he has so arranged the divine economy that as a result of our working in harmony with him in these things, there flow back to us great spiritual blessings. We shall be destitute of these blessings if we fail to cooperate with him in carrying out his plans, and thereby deprive ourselves of those things which we need most. CS 5.3

We are very confident that a careful study of the principles of stewardship as set forth in this volume will help all who study and practice them to a richer and fuller experience in the things of God. This is clearly indicated in the following statement: CS 6.1

“The idea of stewardship should have a practical bearing upon all the people of God.... Practical benevolence will give spiritual life to thousands of nominal professors of the truth who now mourn over their darkness. It will transform them from selfish, covetous worshipers of mammon, to earnest, faithful coworkers with Christ in the salvation of sinners.”—Testimonies for the Church 3:387. CS 6.2

With the prospect before us of such a transformation, all should earnestly study this volume, praying that we may be led into a fuller, richer experience with the Lord. CS 6.3

J. L. McElhany.