The Review and Herald

1164/1902

December 10, 1901

Robbing God—No. 2

EGW

For our present and eternal good, God has given us temporal and spiritual blessings. He enjoins upon us to become servants of His love, to impart to others the grace He has bestowed upon us. We are to act as His helping hand. No narrow, indolent selfishness is to be cherished. We are to inquire, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” Those who love Christ will love the souls for whom He gave His life, and will daily reveal this love. Let the members of the Church arouse. Let them not cherish a narrow, self-centered religion. Christ calls upon them to be earnest, energetic, persevering workers. Those who truly believe in Christ and truly love Him are drawn by Him to act a part in the great, grand work of heaven's love, giving thanks to God for His unspeakable gift. RH December 10, 1901, par. 1

Think of God's boundless compassion. He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Think of the Saviour's matchless love. While we were yet sinners, Christ died to save us from eternal death. In return for the great love wherewith Christ has loved you, you are to bring to Him your thank offering. You are to make a gratitude offering of yourself. Your time, your talents, your affections,—all are to flow to the world in a tide of love for the saving of the lost. Jesus has made it possible for you to accept His love, and in happy cooperation with Him to work under its fragrant influence. He requires you to use your possessions in unselfish service, that His plan for the salvation of souls may be carried forward with power. He requires you to give your undivided energies to His work. To have your name on the church book does not make you a Christian. You are to bring your gifts to the altar of sacrifice, co-operating with God to the utmost of your ability, that through you He may reveal the beauty of His truth. Withhold nothing from the Saviour. All is His. You would have nothing to give, did He not first give to you. RH December 10, 1901, par. 2

Selfishness has come in, and has appropriated to itself that which belongs to God. This is covetousness, which is idolatry. Men monopolize that which God has lent them, as though it were their own property, to do with as they please. When their power to grasp wealth is gratified, they think that their possessions make them of value in the sight of God. This is a snare, a deception of Satan. What does outward pomp and show avail? What do men and women gain by pride and self-indulgence? “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Worldly treasure is fleeting. Only through Christ can we obtain eternal riches. The wealth that He gives is beyond all computation. Having found God, you are supremely rich in the contemplation of His treasure. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” RH December 10, 1901, par. 3

Ask yourself the question, What am I doing with the Lord's talents? Are you placing yourselves where the words are applicable to you, “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation”? We are living in a time of solemn privilege and sacred trust, a time in which our destiny is being decided for life or for death. Let us come to our senses. You who claim to be children of God, bring your tithes to His treasury. Make your offerings willingly and abundantly, according as God has prospered you. Remember that the Lord has intrusted you with talents, upon which you are to trade diligently for Him. Remember also that the faithful servant takes no credit to himself. All the praise and glory is given to the Lord: Thou deliveredst unto me thy pound. No gain could have been made unless there had first been a deposit. There could have been no interest without the principal. The capital was advanced by the Lord. Success in trading comes from Him, and to Him belongs the glory. RH December 10, 1901, par. 4

Oh, if all who have a knowledge of the truth would only obey the teaching of this truth! Why is it that men, standing on the very threshold of the eternal world, are so blinded? There is not a dearth of means, generally speaking, among Seventh-day Adventists. But many Seventh-day Adventists fail to realize the responsibility which rests upon them to co-operate with God and Christ for the saving of souls. They do not show forth to the world the great interest God has in sinners. They do not make the most of the opportunities granted them. The leprosy of selfishness has taken hold of the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ will heal the Church of this terrible disease if she will be healed. The remedy is found in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. RH December 10, 1901, par. 5

Let us work earnestly and unselfishly for God, “knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” RH December 10, 1901, par. 6

To us has been given the greatest wealth of truth ever committed to mortals. God desires us to have a true understanding of the words, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” Enlarge your hearts. Embrace more and still more of the heavenly goods. RH December 10, 1901, par. 7

What shall we render to God for all His benefits to us? Does the weight of your obligation to your Creator rest heavily upon you? Are you seeking to save the souls who are perishing in sin? Do you realize that now is the time to work for the Master, that now is the time to bring your tithes and offerings into the storehouse? Upon His people God has placed the solemn charge of representing Him in this world. “Ye are the light of the world,” He says to them. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” If the truth is not carried into new territory, if the warning message is not given to those who are in darkness, the Church will be held responsible. RH December 10, 1901, par. 8

Rightly appreciate the gifts of influence and property. Rightly estimate the value of the capital intrusted to you. It places you where you are held responsible to see and relieve the needs of God's cause. Labor for the advancement of the interests which are dearest to the heart of God. With your money, your time, your strength, your influence, work for the upbuilding of these interests. The Lord God of Israel needs the co-operation of every soul, because there is a large field to be worked. Hasten, my brethren and sisters, to bring to God a faithful tithe, and to bring Him also a willing thank offering. There are many who will not be blessed till they make restitution of the tithe which they have withheld. God is waiting for you to redeem the past. The hand of the holy law is laid upon every soul who enjoys God's benefits. Let those who have kept back their tithe make an accurate reckoning, and bring to the Lord that of which they have robbed His work. Make restitution, and bring the Lord peace offerings. “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” If you acknowledge that you have done wrong in misappropriating His goods, and freely and fully repent, He will forgive your transgression. RH December 10, 1901, par. 9

In heaven the angelic beings delight to do the will of God. On earth shall we be backward? God is waiting for you to bring your means to His treasury, that there may be meat in His house. First consecrate yourselves to Him; then bring to Him your gifts. RH December 10, 1901, par. 10

Wonderful blessing attended the liberality of the early Christian Church. Paul writes, “Our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.... Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many in our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world and more abundantly to you-ward.” “But this I say, 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 we, 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.” RH December 10, 1901, par. 11

Unselfish liberality threw the early Church into a transport of joy. The members knew that thus the power of God was being borne to the needy. Their benevolent energy testified that they had not received the grace of God in vain. What could produce such liberality but the sanctification of the Spirit through the word? In the eyes of believers and unbelievers it was a miracle of grace. RH December 10, 1901, par. 12

We too often fail to tell of God's faithfulness in rewarding those who obey Him. By murmuring and complaining we darken our own pathway and the pathway of others. It is to be regretted that the Church today feels so little inclination to express thanksgiving to the Lord for enriching her with His grace, for giving her His talent of means, that she may have wherewith to supply His treasury. RH December 10, 1901, par. 13

The barren portions of the Lord's vineyard cry to God, saying, “Men have neglected to care for me.” By allowing their fellow beings to remain in the bondage of want and degradation, men and women allow Satan to reproach God for permitting His children to suffer for the necessaries of life. God is insulted by the indifference of those to whom He has intrusted His goods. His stewards refuse to notice the distress which they might relieve. Thus they bring a reproach upon God. RH December 10, 1901, par. 14

Let no one trifle with his responsibilities. If you are not trading upon dollars, but only upon cents, remember that the blessing of God rests upon unwearied diligence. He does not despise the day of small things. A wise use of the littles will bring a wonderful increase. One talent wisely used will bring two to God. Interest is expected in proportion to the intrusted capital. God accepts according to what a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. RH December 10, 1901, par. 15

God calls for what you owe Him in tithes and offerings. He calls for consecration in every line of His work. Act faithfully your part at your appointed post of duty. Work earnestly, remembering that Christ is by your side, planning, devising, and constructing for you. “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.” Give cheerfully, gladly, willingly, thankful that you are able to do something to advance God's kingdom in the world. Empty the heart of selfishness, and brace the mind for Christian activity. If you are in close connection with God, you will be willing to make any sacrifice to place eternal life within the reach of the perishing. RH December 10, 1901, par. 16

In the name of the Lord, I beseech my brethren and sisters, at this crisis in our work, to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Withholding from God always brings a curse. Spiritual prosperity is closely bound up with Christian liberality. Hunger only for the exaltation of imitating the divine beneficence of the Redeemer. You have the precious assurance that your treasure is going before you to the heavenly courts. Would you make your property secure? Place it in the hand that bears the nail prints of the crucifixion. Retain all in your possession, and it will be to your eternal loss. Give it to God, and from that moment it bears His inscription. It is sealed with His immutability. Would you enjoy your substance? Then use it to bless the suffering. Would you increase your possessions? “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” RH December 10, 1901, par. 17

If all will act their part, the barrenness of the Lord's vineyard will no longer speak in condemnation of those who profess to follow Christ. Medical missionary work is to open the door for the gospel of present truth. The Third Angel's Message is to be heard in all places. Economize! Strip yourselves of pride. Give to God your earthly treasure. Give what you can now, and as you co-operate with Christ, your hand will open to impart still more. And God will refill your hand, that the treasure of truth may be taken to many souls. He will give to you that you may give to others. RH December 10, 1901, par. 18