FROM the 1973 Annual Council, one noted for the spirit of revival and reformation, an appeal went out to all of our church members to double their weekly giving for the Sabbath school. This is an excellent suggestion and one that will be heartily received by many of our dear faithful people around the world. In the light of rising prices, the energy crisis, and the untold problems that are plaguing our world, any effort to provide the means for the speedy completion of our task should be applauded and embraced. So we wholeheartedly endorse the Sabbath school plan voted at the Annual Council.
There is an over-riding consideration, however, that needs to be presented both to our ministers and their members, and that is the need for the giver to give with out pressure. Our giving should not just be a response to urgent appeals and needs. Crisis giving has its place, no doubt, but we must come to the point where we give because our love for Christ, for souls, and for the speedy re turn of our blessed Lord causes us to place our all life, talent, means, service into His hands for immediate use. We do this because we share in His burden for souls and His desire to have the family in heaven and in earth together soon in one place. Any thing that we can do or give to hasten that blessed day, we heartily respond to.
It is this concept of giving that needs to be experienced by all of God's children. We must know from personal experience that "it is more blessed to give than to receive." We must come to appreciate this fact so fully that whether there is some special crisis or not, we will give.
There is one problem that I see with the new appeal to double our Sabbath school offerings. It is this: that for some, doubling their offering is not nearly enough. For them to enter into the joy of giving, the joy of their Lord, they should be giving ten times as much, and in some cases, even much, much more. All will doubt less find it possible to double their Sabbath school giving and this will be a blessing to the work. But let me appeal to you, dear fellow worker, to go beyond this mini mum goal. Let us give not grudgingly, or of necessity (because of some specific need), but cheer fully. Let us measure our gift not so much by the amount given as by the amount that we have left after we have given.
Let me assure you, in case you are in doubt about it, the cause of God can use all the funds that are turned over to the church treasury. There are limitless needs and golden opportunities now con fronting the church, but over and beyond all this, let us love our Lord so much and let us be so committed to the finishing of His work that we shall follow the example of some great Christians of the long ago who first gave themselves willingly to the Lord, and then brought their gifts. Let us give, give, give, until there is no more to give. When this takes place we can be sure that the only reason we are empty-handed is that the Lord knows that His cause has no further need. The work has been finished. Probation has closed and next oh, the thrill of it we shall look into the glorious face of our returning Lord.
Double our Sabbath school offerings? Yes, by all means, if that is the best we can do. But let us all go way beyond any established goals as we manifest our love for God and for His children around the world.