Faithful Stewardship 2
October 31 – November 6, 2021
“The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8).
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 148–157; Ibid., vol. 2, 99, 652–662.
“In all our expenditure of means we are to strive to fulfill the purpose of Him who is the alpha and omega of all Christian effort.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 49.
1 HEARTS REVEALED
1.a. How does our use of money reveal the depth of our consecration to God? Matthew 6:21.
Note: “There is one thing in which we must be deeply in earnest, and that is in the service of God. There is no danger of having too much zeal here. If we would only work with an eye single to the glory of God, the mists would roll away, and our views of right and wrong would become clear. We should consecrate our property. The language of our hearts would be, ‘Lord, here is the means for which Thou hast made me responsible; what wilt Thou have me do with it?’ ” The Signs of the Times, January 7, 1886.
“Money is a trust from God. It is not ours to expend for the gratification of pride or ambition.” The Ministry of Healing, 287.
1.b. How does David’s devotion to God stand as an inspiration as well as a rebuke to many of us? 1 Chronicles 29:3–5.
Note: “Is gratitude dead in the heart? Does not the cross of Christ put to shame a life of selfish ease and indulgence? … We are reaping the fruits of this infinite self-sacrifice; and yet, when labor is to be done, when our money is wanted to aid the work of the Redeemer in the salvation of souls, we shrink from duty and pray to be excused.” Counsels on Stewardship, 21.
2 WORDS OF WARNING
2.a. How are we warned of a sinister plot against Sabbath keepers? Luke 21:34.
Note: “Satan told his angels that the churches were asleep. He would increase his power and lying wonders, and he could hold them. ‘But,’ he said, ‘the sect of Sabbath keepers we hate; they are continually working against us, and taking from us our subjects, to keep the hated law of God. Go, make the possessors of lands and money drunk with cares. If you can make them place their affections upon these things, we shall have them yet. They may profess what they please, only make them care more for money than for the success of Christ’s kingdom or the spread of the truths we hate. Present the world before them in the most attractive light, that they may love and idolize it. We must keep in our ranks all the means of which we can gain control. The more means the followers of Christ devote to His service, the more will they injure our kingdom by getting our subjects. … Control the money matters if you can, and drive their ministers to want and distress. This will weaken their courage and zeal. Battle every inch of ground. Make covetousness and love of earthly treasures the ruling traits of their character. As long as these traits rule, salvation and grace stand back. Crowd every attraction around them, and they will be surely ours. And not only are we sure of them, but their hateful influence will not be exercised to lead others to heaven. When any shall attempt to give, put within them a grudging disposition, that it may be sparingly.’ ” Early Writings, 266, 267.
2.b. Why are we specifically warned against covetousness? Luke 12:15.
Note: “Selfishness and covetousness lurking in the human heart are most powerful passions, and the outcome of the conflict is not a mere conjecture. Unless the soul is daily living upon Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood, the godly element will be overcome by the satanic. Selfishness and covetousness will bear away the victory. A self-confident, independent spirit will never enter into the kingdom of God. It is only those who are partakers with Christ in His self-denial and sacrifice that will be partakers with Him in His glory.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 216.
3 A SERIOUS MATTER
3.a. How does the love of money deteriorate our spiritual life, and what is the cure for it? 1 Timothy 6:9, 10.
Note: “Christ offered Himself, an infinite sacrifice. This, in and of itself, bears directly against covetousness and exalts benevolence.
“Constant, self-denying benevolence is God’s remedy for the cankering sins of selfishness and covetousness. God has arranged systematic benevolence to sustain His cause and relieve the necessities of the suffering and needy. He has ordained that giving should become a habit, that it may counteract the dangerous and deceitful sin of covetousness. Continual giving starves covetousness to death. Systematic benevolence is designed in the order of God to tear away treasures from the covetous as fast as they are gained and to consecrate them to the Lord, to whom they belong.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 548.
“Self-sacrifice is the keynote of the teachings of Christ. Often it is presented and enjoined in language that seems authoritative, because God sees that there is no other way to save man than to cut away from his life the selfishness which, if retained, would degrade the whole being.” Ibid., vol. 9, 49.
“That which is eating out the vitals of God’s people is the love of money and friendship with the world.” Ibid., vol. 2, 657.
3.b. Where does God want us to focus our attention, and why? Colossians 3:1.
Note: “Selfishness is a soul-destroying sin. Under this head comes covetousness, which is idolatry. All things belong to God. All the prosperity we enjoy is the result of divine beneficence. God is the great and bountiful giver. If He requires any portion of the liberal supply He has given us, it is not that He may be enriched by our gifts, for He needs nothing from our hand; but it is that we may have an opportunity to exercise self-denial, love, and sympathy for our fellowmen, and thus become highly exalted. In every dispensation, from Adam’s time to ours, God has claimed the property of man, saying: I am the rightful owner of the universe; therefore consecrate to Me thy first fruits, bring a tribute of loyalty, surrender to Me My own, thus acknowledging My sovereignty, and you shall be free to retain and enjoy My bounties, and My blessing shall be with you.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 476, 477.
4 A COVENANT BY SACRIFICE
4.a. In view of the shortness of time before the Lord’s return, what should each one consider in managing his or her personal finances? Haggai 2:8.
Note: “The end is fast approaching and many in our churches are asleep. Let all now make it their chief business to serve the Lord. The Lord has entrusted to His people the talent of means, some more and some less than others. With many the possession of wealth has proved a snare. In their desire to follow the fashions of the world, they have lost their zeal for the truth, and they are in peril of losing eternal life. In proportion as God has prospered them, men should return to Him of the goods He has entrusted to their stewardship.” This Day With God, 349.
“Some close their ears to the calls made for money to be used in sending missionaries to foreign countries and in publishing the truth and scattering it like autumn leaves all over the world. Such excuse their covetousness by informing you that they have made arrangements to be charitable at death. They have considered the cause of God in their wills. Therefore they live a life of avarice, robbing God in tithes and in offerings, and in their wills return to God but a small portion of that which He has lent them, while a very large proportion is appropriated to relatives who have no interest in the truth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 479, 480.
4.b. What specific warning concerning stewardship does Christ issue to parents? Matthew 10:37.
Note: “Believing parents have frequently transferred their property to their unbelieving children, thus putting it out of their power to render to God the things that are His. By so doing they lay off that responsibility which God has laid upon them, and place in the enemy’s ranks means which God has entrusted to them to be returned to Him by being invested in His cause when He shall require it of them. It is not in God’s order that parents who are capable of managing their own business should give up the control of their property, even to children who are of the same faith.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 528, 529.
5 THE SAFEST DEPOSIT BOX
5.a. What comforting assurance does Christ offer all who make a covenant with Him through sacrifice? Matthew 6:28–33.
Note: “Open your hearts to receive this [God’s] kingdom, and make its service your highest interest. Though it is a spiritual kingdom, fear not that your needs for this life will be uncared-for. If you give yourself to God’s service, He who has all power in heaven and earth will provide for your needs.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 99.
“Every act of self-sacrifice for the good of others will strengthen the spirit of beneficence in the giver’s heart, allying him more closely to the Redeemer of the world.” Counsels on Stewardship, 20.
5.b. What is the most fruitful way to preserve our wealth? Proverbs 3:9, 10.
Note: “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.” Counsels on Stewardship, 49.
“We are to make investments in heavenly interests, and always work with heaven in view, laying our treasure up in the bank of heaven.” The Signs of the Times, April 4, 1895.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why can money be a talent that reveals much about our hearts?
2 Describe one strategy that Satan is plotting against Sabbath keepers.
3 How are we blessed by overcoming a love for money?
4 What should be our consideration as the end of time draws nearer?
5 What promise is given to those who lay up their treasure in heaven?
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