The Review and Herald

1300/1902

December 24, 1903

Carrying Forward the Lord's Work

EGW

The last years of probation are passing into eternity. The great day of the Lord is right upon us. Every energy we possess should now be used to arouse those dead in trespasses and sins. RH December 24, 1903, par. 1

Let the words of the Lord spoken by the prophet Malachi, be brought home to every soul: RH December 24, 1903, par. 2

“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. 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. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” RH December 24, 1903, par. 3

It is time that we gave heed to the teaching of the Word of God. All his injunctions are given to do us good. He calls upon those who stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel to give evidence that they realize their dependence on God and their accountability to him, by returning to him a certain portion of that which he entrusts to them. This money is to be used in advancing the work that must be done to fulfill the commission given by Christ to his disciples. RH December 24, 1903, par. 4

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” RH December 24, 1903, par. 5

God's people are called to a work that requires money and consecration. The obligations resting upon us hold us responsible to work for God to the utmost of our ability. He calls for undivided service, for the entire devotion of heart, soul, mind, and strength. RH December 24, 1903, par. 6

There are only two places in the universe where we can place our treasures,—in God's storehouse or in Satan's; and all that is not devoted to God's service is counted on Satan's side, and goes to strengthen his cause. The Lord designs that the means entrusted to us shall be used in building up his kingdom. His goods are entrusted to his stewards that they may be carefully traded upon, and bring back a revenue to him in the saving of souls. These souls in their turn will become stewards of trust, co-operating with Christ to further the interests of God's cause. RH December 24, 1903, par. 7

Wherever there is life in a church, there is increase and growth. There is also a constant interchange, taking and giving out, receiving and returning to the Lord his own. To every true believer God imparts light and blessing, and this the believer imparts to others in the work that he does for the Lord. As he gives of that which he receives, his capacity for receiving is increased. Room is made for fresh supplies of grace and truth. Clearer light, increased knowledge, are his. On this giving and receiving depend the life and growth of the church. He who receives, but never gives, soon ceases to receive. If the truth does not flow from him to others, he loses his capacity to receive. We must impart the goods of heaven, if we would receive fresh blessing. RH December 24, 1903, par. 8

The Lord does not propose to come to this world, and lay down gold and silver for the advancement of his work. He supplies men with resources, that by their gifts and offerings they may keep his work advancing. The one purpose above all others for which God's gifts should be used is the sustaining of workers in the harvest field. And if men will become channels through which heaven's blessing can flow to others, the Lord will keep the channel supplied. It is not returning to the Lord his own that makes men poor; withholding tends to poverty. RH December 24, 1903, par. 9

The Saviour said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” For the joy of seeing souls rescued from the hands of the destroyer, Christ endured the cross. He became the living sacrifice for a fallen world. Through his sacrifice was given to the world the mighty influence of the Holy Spirit. It is through sacrifice that the work which Christ came to do must be carried forward. Self-sacrifice is required of every child of God. RH December 24, 1903, par. 10

God calls upon his people to awake to their responsibilities. A flood of light is shining from his Word, and there must be a meeting of neglected obligations. When these are met, by giving to the Lord his own in tithes and offerings, the way will be opened for the world to hear the message that the Lord designs it to hear. If our people had the love of God in the heart, if every church-member were imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, there would be no lack of funds for home and foreign missions; our resources would be multiplied; a thousand doors of usefulness would be opened; and we should be invited to enter. Had the purpose of God been carried out in giving the message of mercy to the world, Christ would have come, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God. RH December 24, 1903, par. 11

If ever there was a time when sacrifices should be made, it is now. My brethren and sisters, practise economy in your homes. Put away the idols that you have placed before God. Give up your selfish pleasures. Do not, I beg of you, spend means in embellishing your houses; for your money belongs to God, and to him you must give an account for its use. Do not use the Lord's money to gratify the fancies of your children. Teach them that God has a claim on all they possess, and that nothing can ever cancel this claim. RH December 24, 1903, par. 12

Money is a needed treasure. Do not lavish it upon those who need it not. Some one needs your willing gifts. There are those in the world who are hungry, starving. You may say, I can not feed them all. But by practising Christ's lessons of economy, you can feed one. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” These words were spoken by him whose power wrought a miracle to supply the needs of a hungry multitude. RH December 24, 1903, par. 13

If you have extravagant habits, cut them away from your life at once. Unless you do this, you will be bankrupt for eternity. Habits of economy, industry, and sobriety, are a better portion for your children than a rich dowry. RH December 24, 1903, par. 14

We are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. Let us not spend our means in gratifying desires that God would have us repress. Let us fitly represent our faith by restricting our wants. Let our church-members arise as one man, and work earnestly, as those who are walking in the full light of truth for these last days. RH December 24, 1903, par. 15

If in the providence of God you have been given riches, do not settle down with the thought that there is no need for you to exert yourself, that you have enough to draw upon, and that you can eat, drink, and be merry. Invest your means in the Lord's cause. If you are doing less than you can do to help the souls perishing around you, be sure that you are incurring guilt by your indolence. RH December 24, 1903, par. 16

It is God who gives men power to get wealth, and he has ordained that this ability shall be regarded, not as a means of gratifying self, but as a means of returning to God his own. With this as an object, it is no sin to use our capabilities in acquiring means. Money is to be earned by labor. Every youth should be educated in habits of industry. The Bible condemns no man for being rich, if he has acquired his riches honestly. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Wealth will prove a great blessing to its possessor, if he realizes that it is not his own, but the Lord's, to be received with thankfulness, and with thankfulness returned to the Giver. RH December 24, 1903, par. 17

But of what value is untold wealth, if it is hoarded in expensive mansions, or in bank-stock? What do these weigh in the scale in comparison with the salvation of the souls for whom Christ, the Son of the infinite God, has died? RH December 24, 1903, par. 18

The Lord bids us, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, That if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” RH December 24, 1903, par. 19