October 24, 2007

Return on Investment

2007 1530 page13 capHE RESOURCES OF THE LORD ARE infinite, and He employs them all in accomplishing His purposes. Faithful stewards, who wisely use the goods which God has intrusted to them to advance the truth and bless suffering humanity, will be rewarded for so doing. . . .
 
Taking a Cue From the Giver
Those who make a judicious and unselfish disposition of the Lord’s goods, thus identifying their interest with that of suffering humanity, will be advanced; for they act the part which God designed they should in His own system of beneficence. . . .
 
Every good thing upon the earth was given to man as an expression of the love of God. He makes man His steward, and gives him talents of influence and means to use for the accomplishment of His work in the earth. Our Heavenly Father proposes to connect finite man with Himself. As laborers they may be His instruments in the salvation of souls. He has accepted those who have consecrated themselves to His service to preach the word to those who have not a knowledge of the truth. . . . Every man who professes to be illuminated by the Spirit of God in this time will be required to enlighten others.
 
But God would not have rich or poor entertain the idea for a moment that He is dependent upon them, nor that their liberalities can in any case supply defects of Christian character. Liberality is but one of the traits which are characteristic of a Christian. . . .
 
2007 1530 page13Benevolence is one precious trait of character which needs to be cultivated and strengthened by continual exercise. . . .
 
The religion of the Bible is that development of our moral natures in which the soul holds converse with God, loves that which God loves, and hates that which God hates. God will not accept your offerings if you withhold yourself. He asks not only for that which is His own in the means intrusted to you, but for His own property in your body, soul, and spirit, purchased at the infinite price of the blood of the Son of God.
 
Our Privilege
God might have made angels the ambassadors of His truth. He might have proclaimed the law from Sinai with His own voice. But He has chosen to take man into His counsel, and connect him with Himself, that through the instrumentality of man the mysteries of the cross of Christ might be fully explained in an audible voice.
 
Man has a work to do. And in this work, life will prove a blessing. The real value of life to him is indicated by the character of the work which employs his powers. . . . All the riches intrusted to man are only a curse unless he employs them to relieve his own daily wants and those of the needy around him, and to glorify his Maker by advancing His cause in the earth. . . .
 
Man would have no gifts to bestow were they not first given to him. But our Heavenly Father has made every provision for man, that he may be fully tested and proved, and through the merits of Christ perfect a righteous character. . . .
 
We cannot possibly enrich the Lord by bestowing any favor directly upon Him, for He is the giver of all our bounties. But He points us to the poor and suffering and oppressed, and to souls bound in chains of superstition and error, and assures us that if we do good to these He accepts the deed as though done to Himself. Christ identifies Himself with suffering humanity. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
 
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Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. This article is excerpted from one that first appeared in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, now the Adventist Review, October 31, 1878.

 

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