The Review and Herald

1019/1902

September 12, 1899

“Give Unto the Lord the Glory Due Unto His Name”

EGW

We are all living on probation. Those who have passed into their graves have been tested and tried, to see if they would realize their responsibility to serve God. A desire to glorify God should be to us the most powerful of all motives. It should lead us to make every exertion to improve the privileges and opportunities provided for us, to use wisely the Lord's goods. It should lead us to keep brain, bone, and muscle in the most healthful condition, that our physical strength and mental clearness may help us to be faithful stewards. Selfish interest must ever be held subordinate; for if given room to act, it contracts the intellect, hardens the heart, and weakens moral power. Then disappointment comes. The man has divorced himself from God, and sold himself to unworthy pursuits. He can not be happy; for he can not respect himself. He has lowered himself in his own estimation. He is an intellectual failure. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 1

Daniel was regarded by the Lord as a man, because he was a steward who traded faithfully on his Lord's goods. He did not forget God, but placed himself in the channel of light, where he could commune with God in prayer. And we read that God gave Daniel and his fellows knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 2

Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon dreamed a dream, which none of his wise men could interpret. The secret was revealed to Daniel in the night vision, and we read: “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: he revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 3

Daniel did not stand before king Nebuchadnezzar to glorify human power, to dishonor God by failing to acknowledge his goodness. Had he not acknowledged God as the source of his wisdom, he would have been an unfaithful steward. Those who follow the example set by Daniel will connect with the Lord. They will consult him as a son consults a wise father. Not all human fathers possess wisdom; but God may always be trusted and depended on. With perfect assurance we may commit the keeping of our souls to him as unto a faithful Creator. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 4

Did Daniel's faithful recognition of God before kings, princes, and statesmen detract from his influence?—No. Read his firm, bold testimony, and then follow his example. Let the clear-cut testimony, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cut to the right and to the left. Make appeals that will bring foolish, wandering minds back to God. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 5

After Daniel had given Nebuchadnezzar God's warning in regard to self exaltation, he said to him, “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be accepted unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” Had the king heeded this counsel, the threatened evil might have been averted; but he went on with proud superiority until his reason was taken from him, and he became as the beasts of the field. God allowed him to suffer seven years of deplorable degradation, and then removed his chastening hand. Then the king acknowledged his sin. “At the end of the days,” the record reads, “I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

Those who act a part in the work of God do good only because God is behind them, doing the work. Shall we then praise men, and give thanks to them, neglecting to recognize God? If we do, God will not co-operate with us. When man puts himself first and God second, he shows that he is losing his wisdom and righteousness. All that is ever done toward restoring the moral image of God in man is done because God is the efficiency of the worker. Christ, in his prayer to his Father, declared, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

Said the great apostle Paul, “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Let every steward understand that as he strives to advance the glory of God in our world, whether he stands before Christians or infidels, peasants or princes, he is to make God first and last, and best in everything. Man can not show greater weakness than by thinking he will find greater acceptance in the sight of men if he leaves God out of his assemblies. God must stand the highest. The wisdom of the greatest man is foolishness with him. The true Christian will realize that he has a right to his name only as he uplifts Christ with a steady, persevering, and ever-increasing force. No ambitious motive will chill his energy; for it comes from an inexhaustible source—the light of life. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 8

“It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” When we are faithful in making God known, our impulses will be under divine supervision, and we shall make steady growth, spiritually and intellectually. But when men enter into a confederacy to exalt men, and have little to say of God, they are weakness itself. God will leave those who do not recognize him in every effort made to uplift humanity. It is Christ's power alone that can restore broken-down human machinery. In every place let those around you see that you give God the glory. Let man be put in the shade; let God appear as the only hope of the human race. Every man must rivet his character-building to the eternal Rock, Christ Jesus; then it will stand amid storm and tempest. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 9

God will prepare the mind to recognize him who alone can help the striving, struggling soul. All who stand under his banner he will educate to be faithful stewards of his grace. God has given man immortal principles, to which every human power must one day bow. He has given us truth in trust. The precious beams of this light are not to be hidden under a bushel, but are to give light to all that are in the house. Truth, imperishable truth, is to be made prominent. Show those with whom you come in contact that the truth is of consequence to you. It means much to you to stand by the principles that will live through the eternal ages. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 10

God has given every man talents, that His name may be exalted, not that man may be lauded and praised, honored and glorified, while the Giver is forgotten. All have been entrusted with God's gifts, from the lowest and most poverty stricken to the highest and wealthiest, who walk in haughty pride. To every man have been given physical, mental, and moral powers. Let none waste their God-given time in regrets that they have only one talent. Spend every moment in using the talents that you have. They are the Lord's, to be returned to him. It is not your own property you are handling, but the Lord's. One day he will come to receive his own with usury. Faithfully fulfil your appointed stewardship, that you may meet him in peace. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 11

Have we consecrated all our talents to God? We can not be excused in withholding one from him. Reason is a precious gift. Do not abuse it; for God can remove it. The gift of speech is a valuable talent. Never despise nor undervalue this gift. Thank God for entrusting it to you. It is a precious gift, to be sanctified, elevated, and ennobled. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 12

As a sacred trust the voice should be used to honor God. It should never utter harsh, impure words, or words of faultfinding. The gospel of Christ is to be proclaimed by the voice. With the talent of speech we are to communicate the truth as we have opportunity. It should ever be used in God's service. But this talent is grievously abused. Words are spoken that do great harm. Christ declared, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of Judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 13

Money is a talent, which is to be placed in God's treasury, for investment in his cause. But many are robbing God in tithes and offerings. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me,” God declares. “But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 14

Are we as individuals searching the word of God carefully and prayerfully, lest we shall depart from its precepts and requirements? The Lord will not look upon us with pleasure if we withhold anything, small or great, that should be returned to him. If we desire to spend money to gratify our own inclinations, let us think of the good we might do with that money. Let us lay aside for the Master small and large sums, that the work may be built up in new places. If we spend selfishly the money so much needed, the Lord does not, can not, bless us with his commendation. RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 15

As stewards of the grace of God, we are handling the Lord's money. It means much, very much, to us to be strengthened by his rich grace day by day, to be enabled to understand his will, to be found faithful in that which is least as well as in that which is great. When this is our experience, the service of Christ will be a reality to us. God demands this of us, and before angels and men we should reveal our gratitude for what he has done for us. God's benevolence to us we should reflect back in praise and deeds of mercy. Please read the eighth and ninth chapters of 2 Corinthians. These words show the impression made on those for whom we work when we act as Christ would have acted in our place: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: ... being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; and by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 16

Do all church-members realize that all they have is given them to be used and improved to God's glory? God keeps a faithful account with every human being in our world. And when the day of reckoning comes, the faithful steward takes no credit to himself. He does not say, “My pound;” but, “Thy pound hath gained” other pounds. He knows that without the entrusted gift no increase could have been made. He feels that in faithfully discharging his stewardship he has but done his duty. The capital was the Lord's, and by his power he was enabled to trade upon it successfully. His name only should be glorified. Without the entrusted capital he knows that he would have been bankrupt for eternity. The approval of the Lord is received almost with surprise, it is so unexpected. But Christ says to him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” RH September 12, 1899, Art. A, par. 17