Blessings of Sacrificial Giving

Whether our responsibility centers in the local church or in general admin­istrative work in any capacity, as leaders in the cause of God we need to be reminded often of the spiritual objectives that are before us and our believers, and need to have a knowl­edge of how these are attained.

By E. D. DicK, Secretary of the General Conference

Whether our responsibility centers in the local church or in general admin­istrative work in any capacity, as leaders in the cause of God we need to be reminded often of the spiritual objectives that are before us and our believers, and need to have a knowl­edge of how these are attained. A clear understanding of the principles with which we are dealing is also essential, together with the factors at work in the work of redemption.

As a church, our collective objective is to preach the gospel of the soon-coming Saviour in all the world—to every kindred, nation, tongue, and people. Our objective for the in­dividual member is that all who hear the good news and accept its provisions may be pre­pared to meet God. A world-wide dissemina­tion of religious knowledge, even the fact of the second coming of Christ, would profit nothing, unless it resulted in preparing a peo­ple to meet Him. This, then—the preparation of a people to meet God—is the supreme ob­jective of our mission activities.

The establishing and maintaining of such a world-wide mission program as is called for in preparation for Christ's return, of necessity involves the expenditure of large sums of money. These funds are provided largely by the membership, though a substantial sum is now realized from other sources. The gather­ing of the large amount required involves fre­quent and urgent appeals to our members, some of whom at times have been tempted to com­plain because of the frequency of these ap­peals. But the very experience of giving is designed of God to accomplish a distinctly necessary work in the heart of those who have a part in the work of self-denial and sacrifice for the cause of God.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." It is "sin-full." Sin in the final analysis is being self-willed. Sin began in heaven by Satan when he determined, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds : I will be like the Most High." Its beginnings in the heart of man were signaled by the de­cision to follow his own will contrary to the revealed will of God. Concerning this, we are told that "self-idolatry . . lies at the founda­tion of all sin," and that "pride, selfishness, and covetousness . . . are especially offensive to God."—"Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 337. And further, "Covetousness, selfishness, love of money, and love of the world, are all through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. These evils are destroying the spirit of sacrifice among God's people."—Id., Vol. I, p. 140.

We are saved from sin through faith in Jesus as our Saviour, and this fact is demon­strated by the renovation of the life and char­acter qualities—we change from evil to good through the transforming power of God. This is the work of sanctification. The opportunity of giving to meet the needs of the poor, or for the support of the cause of God, is designed of God to do a work of grace in the heart. It is His will that in giving, self will be de­throned, the attitude of self-serving will be lost from our lives, and our hearts will go out in sympathy and service for others. This is Heaven's spirit and plan. Of this we read:

"Our Redeemer, who knew man's danger in regard to covetousness, has provided a safeguard against this dreadful evil. He has arranged the plan of salvation so that it begins and ends in benevolence. 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."—Id., Vol. III, p. 548. (Italics mine.)

In view of this we are told that "we are never called upon to make a real sacrifice for God," for in the experience of self-denial comes a ministry of grace in the heart, which more than compensates for any material loss or hardship. It is from this viewpoint, too, that it truly is "more blessed to give than to receive." In the experience of giving comes not only the joy and satisfaction of helping others, but the strengthening of cords of love for those who stand in need of our help.

"No one can appreciate the blessings of redemp­tion unless he feels that he can joyfully afford to make any and every sacrifice for the love of Christ. Every sacrifice made for Christ enriches the giver, and every suffering and privation endured for His dear sake increases the overcomer's final joy in heaven."—Id., Vol. IV, p. 219.

This, then, is the primary purpose of sacri­ficial giving—to enrich the giver spiritually. Let us ever hold this high purpose before our people, that they may be enriched spiritually because of their experience in giving. Let us in no sense feel apologetic in holding before them the needs of the cause, for rather than depriving them of means through receiving their gifts, we are giving opportunity for spiritual ministry to their hearts, in the making of an offering to the Lord.

In a particular sense, let us as workers at this time extend this privilege in the Week of Sacrifice. Let not this be an occasion for the ministry and institutional workers alone to have part, but let us extend the opportunity to our members generally, holding before them, first, the blessing of God which attends the humblest sacrifice begotten by love for Him, and second, the great needs of the cause of God. Let us ever hold before our membership the subjective blessing in sacrificial giving, being reminded that "all who follow Christ will wear the crown of sacrifice."

Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By E. D. DicK, Secretary of the General Conference

November 1939

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Hold Steady Under Crisis Conditions

Shun the temptation to prognosticate what has not been revealed.

Adventist Editorial Council

Denominational editors meet in council convened at Washington, D.C. on August 23-29.

Editorial Defenders of the Faith--No.1

A devotional study from the morning of August 25.

Cultural Cycles and Religious Trends

This is the first of four studies that lay bare the notable revolution that is taking place in religious world thought.

Facing the India Problem No. 1

India presents such a variety of conditions—geographical, economic, sociologic, and religious—that it is well-nigh futile to attempt any general statement about the country which would apply accurately to all parts or to all classes of people found there.

Schools, an Evangelizing Agency

One of the difficulties that stands in the way of carrying on evangelistic work in a large way in the native reservations and villages of Africa, is the inability of the people to read.

Statistical Report for 1938

Have you stopped to think that nearly one hundred years have passed since this movement began?

Principles of Hymn Choice—No. 1

Hymns and hymn tunes, gospel songs, and other types of music used in the work of the church are often criticized. Why this difference of opinion?

Baptism for the Dead

How may one deal effectively with the Latter-day Saints' (or Mormons') contention on vicarious baptism for the dead, which they base on 1 Corinthians 15:29?

Editorial Keynotes*

Ideals of Presentation--No. 1

The Art of Tactful Approach

I have found that a frank, practical, sym­pathetic appeal to the people through avenues of natural approach is a wonderful success in the country.

How to Deal With Hecklers

If we find that our meetings are being regularly interrupted, there is either some­thing wrong with our manner of lecturing or with our method of advertising.

A Departmental Secretary's Duty

As a home missionary secretary, I view with grave misgivings the alarming in­difference toward Christian education which is manifested by many parents.

Medical Missionary Activities

The following postscript on a letter under date of August 8, 1939, is from one of our College of Medical Evangelists graduates in New Mexico, who located in that State in 1935.

Extending Our Influence

This paper was presented at a meeting of the Southern Institute of Hospital Administrators, held at Duke University, Au­gust 4.

Medical Relief at Chungking

We feel that the following excerpt from a letter written by Dr. Herbert Liu, of China, will be of interest to our medical group at this critical time.

Daily Nutritional Needs*

Fasting for short periods is physically beneficial and health promoting for those who overeat. Were it not for overeating, fast­ing would be largely unnecessary, and entire abstinence from food would be harmful.

Medical Work in South China

From about the middle of 1937 and onward our people in China have been given a rare opportunity for service. This is espe­cially true of our medical workers.

Dispensationalism's Basic Fallacies--No. 1

Professor Price's article on dis­pensationalism in the August, 1938, Ministry, is most timely, and worthy of careful study by every Seventh-day Adventist minister. But I believe that we con­cede too much when we classify dispensa­tionalists as fundamentalists.

Carefulness in All Utterances

Of all people, Seventh-day Adventists should be the most careful of what they present orally or publish in written form.

Ambassadors for Christ

What careful­ness it should beget in us to be fit representa­tives of the government of God and His grace to lost humanity! What zeal we should have to improve ourselves, and to advance His work!

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Trending

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)