The Spirit of Sacrifice


Chapter 5—“Ye are Not Your Own”

[Unpublished Ms., April 8, 1903.]

The work that God has pointed out to be done has not been done. City after city has been left unworked. Ministers laboring in the most destitute fields have been left to work as best they could, with insufficient means. A meager sum has been apportioned to them. Some have needed means to obtain food and clothing, and yet men, in their covetousness, have refused to help them. God looks upon the workers who are seeking to preach the gospel and to do true missionary work as more worthy of large means than some others. And they have greater need than some for large wages. Many calls for help are made upon them. They meet those who are in pitifully needy circumstances, and they deny themselves in order to help those needy ones. SpTB19 18.1

One night I seemed to be in an assembly in which only a small number were present. Arrangements were being made to raise the wages of certain ones. One of authority reached out His hand, and taking the records, examined them critically. Then He said: “A change will soon take place. Those who have been in the ----- office as leaders have been unfaithful in their stewardship. They are to be released from their responsibilities, unless they give evidence of thorough conversion. I will not serve with unprincipled devising, neither will My Spirit strive with them unless they repent. The work is no longer to be entrusted to your keeping. The means in the Lord's treasury, which should have been used to enable men to enter new fields, is grasped by selfish, unsanctified hands. Those who are truly converted, body, soul, and spirit, are filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice.” SpTB19 18.2

Men have written to me saying that they must have high wages, and pleading as an excuse an expensive family. And at the same time the institution with which they were connected was obliged to figure closely to meet running expenses. Why should any one plead an expensive family as a reason for demanding high wages? Is not the lesson that Christ has given sufficient? He says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” SpTB19 19.1

Our institutions were established to serve as an effectual means of advancing the work of soul-saving. Those connected with them are to study how they can help the institution, not how they can take the most out of the treasury. If they grasp more than is their due, they hinder the cause of God. Let every one connected with these institutions say: I will not set my wages at a high figure, because that would rob the treasury, and the proclamation of the message of mercy would be hindered. I must practise economy. Those who are out in the field are doing a work that is as essential as the work that I am doing. I must do all in my power to help them. It is God's means that I am handling, and I will do as Christ would do in my place. I will not spend money for luxuries. I will remember the Lord's workers in mission fields. They have more need of means than I have. In their work they come in contact with much poverty and distress. They must feed the hungry and clothe the naked. I must limit my expenditures, that I may share in their labor of love. SpTB19 19.2

We are not our own. We have been bought with a price. We are pledged by our baptismal vows to work for God. We are to remember that our money is not to be spent selfishly, but that all we can spare is to be used to advance the work of God. Our every word and act is to be in accordance with the will of God, that we may be enabled to render our account with a conscience void of offense toward God or man. SpTB19 20.1

Each is to do his appointed work according to his several ability. Christian missions are to be sustained. God's people are to deny self rather than to allow His cause to suffer. They are to use their money to the glory of God, not to please themselves, that in the day of judgment they may know that they have done their part faithfully to proclaim the gospel. SpTB19 20.2