E. G. White Quotations—Practicing
The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. Christ’s self-sacrificing love is revealed upon the cross. That man might be saved, He gave all that He had and then gave Himself. The cross of Christ appeals to the benevolence of every follower of the blessed Savior. The principle there illustrated is to give, give. This, carried out in actual benevolence and good works, is the true fruit of the Christian life. The principle of worldlings is to get, get, and thus they expect to secure happiness; but carried out in all its bearings, the fruit is misery and death (Counsels for the Church, p. 272).
How great was the gift of God to man, and how like our God to make it! With a liberality that can never be exceeded He gave, that He might save the rebellious sons of men and bring them to see His purpose and discern His love. Will you, by your gifts and offerings, show that you think nothing too good for Him who “gave His only-begotten Son”? (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 6).
No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. Though he should possess great faith and have power even to work miracles, yet without love his faith would be worthless. He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God. In his zeal he might even meet a martyr’s death, yet if not actuated by love, he would be regarded by God as a deluded enthusiast or an ambitious hypocrite (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 318).
It is not God’s purpose that Christians, whose privileges far exceed those of the Jewish nation, shall give less freely than they gave. “Unto whomsoever much is given,” the Saviour declared, “of him shall be much required.” Luke 12:48. The liberality required of the Hebrews was largely to benefit their own nation; today the work of God extends over all the earth. In the hands of His followers, Christ has placed the treasures of the gospel, and upon them He has laid the responsibility of giving the glad tidings of salvation to the world. Surely our obligations are much greater than were those of ancient Israel (The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 337, 338).
While the building of the sanctuary was in progress the people, old and young—men, women, and children—continued to bring their offerings, until those in charge of the work found that they had enough, and even more than could be used. And Moses caused to be proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.” The murmurings of the Israelites and the visitations of God’s judgments because of their sins are recorded as a warning to after-generations. And their devotion, their zeal and liberality, are an example worthy of imitation. All who love the worship of God and prize the blessing of His sacred presence will manifest the same spirit of sacrifice in preparing a house where He may meet with them. They will desire to bring to the Lord an offering of the very best that they possess. A house built for God should not be left in debt, for He is thereby dishonored. An amount sufficient to accomplish the work should be freely given, that the workmen may be able to say,“Bring no more offerings” (Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 24).