Lesson 6 November 4 - 10

Live Within Your Means

Memory Text: (Prov 3:9-10) Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; {10} then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

"Scripture from the NEW KINGS JAMES VERSION" Copyright © 1982:Used by permission

Sabbath Afternoon

(Prov 3:9-10 NKJV) Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; {10} So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

(Prov 11:28 NKJV) He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

(Prov 11:24-25 NKJV) There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. {25} The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.

(Prov 14:15 NKJV) The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.

(Prov 22:3 NKJV) A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

(Prov 22:7 NKJV) The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

(Prov 6:1-5 NKJV) My son, if you become surety for your friend, If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, {2} You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth. {3} So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; Plead with your friend. {4} Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. {5} Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.


Honor The Lord

Christ's Object Lesson, pp. 349 - 350

It was Christ who gave to the builders of the tabernacle wisdom to execute the most skillful and beautiful workmanship. He said, "See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. . . . And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee." Ex. 31:2-6. {COL 349.1}

Christ's Object Lesson, pp. 349 - 350 (continued)

God desires that His workers in every line shall look to Him as the Giver of all they possess. All right inventions and improvements have their source in Him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. The skillful touch of the physician's hand, his power over nerve and muscle, his knowledge of the delicate organism of the body, is the wisdom of divine power, to be used in behalf of the suffering. The skill with which the carpenter uses the hammer, the strength with which the blacksmith makes the anvil ring, comes from God. He has entrusted men with talents, and He expects them to look to Him for counsel. Whatever we do, in whatever department of the work we are placed, He desires to control our minds that we may do perfect work. {COL 349.2}

Religion and business are not two separate things; they are one. Bible religion is to be interwoven with all we do or say. Divine and human agencies are to combine in (p. 350) temporal as well as in spiritual achievements. They are to be united in all human pursuits, in mechanical and agricultural labors, in mercantile and scientific enterprises. There must be co-operation in everything embraced in Christian activity. {COL 349.3}

God has proclaimed the principles on which alone this co-operation is possible. His glory must be the motive of all who are laborers together with Him. All our work is to be done from love of God and in accordance with His will. {COL 350.1}

It is just as essential to do the will of God when erecting a building as when taking part in a religious service. And if the workers have brought the right principles into their own character making, then in the erection of every building they will grow in grace and knowledge. {COL 350.2}

But God will not accept the greatest talents or the most splendid service unless self is laid upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. The root must be holy, else there can be no fruit acceptable to God. {COL 350.3}

The Lord made Daniel and Joseph shrewd managers. He could work through them because they did not live to please their own inclination but to please God. {COL 350.4}

The case of Daniel has a lesson for us. It reveals the fact that a businessman is not necessarily a sharp, policy man. He can be instructed by God at every step. Daniel, while prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon, was a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. Worldly, ambitious statesmen are represented in the word of God as the grass that groweth up and as the flower of the grass that fadeth. Yet the Lord desires to have in His service intelligent men, men qualified for various lines of work. There is need of businessmen who will weave the grand principles of truth into all their transactions. And their talents should be perfected by most thorough study and training. If men in any line of work need to (p. 351) improve their opportunities to become wise and efficient, it is those who are using their ability in building up the kingdom of God in our world. Of Daniel we learn that in all his business transactions, when subjected to the closest scrutiny, not one fault or error could be found. He was a sample of what every businessman may be. His history shows what may be accomplished by one who consecrates the strength of brain and bone and muscle, of heart and life, to the service of God. {COL 350.5}

(Prov 3:9 NKJV) Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

(Prov 3:10 NKJV) So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

(Prov 10:3 NKJV) The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, But He casts away the desire of the wicked.

(Mal 3:10-11 NKJV) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. {11} "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," Says the LORD of hosts;

(Prov 3:9 NKJV) Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

(Prov 3:9 NIV) Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;


The Love Of Money

(1 Tim 6:10 NKJV) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

(Prov 28:20 NKJV) A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

(Prov 28:22 NKJV) A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

(Prov 28:20 NIV) A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

(Prov 28:20 NKJV) A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

(Prov 13:11 NKJV) Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.

(Prov 13:19 NKJV) A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.

(Prov 10:23 NKJV) To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.

(Prov 15:21 NKJV) Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.

(Prov 11:28 NKJV) He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

(Prov 23:4-5 NKJV) Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! {5} Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

(Mat 6:24-34 NKJV) "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. {25} "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? {26} "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? {27} "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? {28} "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; {29} "and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. {30} "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? {31} "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' {32} "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. {33} "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

{Matt 6:34} "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Generosity And Contentment

(Prov 11:24-25 NKJV) There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. {25} The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.

(Prov 22:9 NKJV) He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

(Prov 28:27 NKJV) He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses.

Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 331

But few have a true sense of what is comprised in the word Christian. It is to be Christlike, to do others good, to be divested of all selfishness, and to have our lives marked with acts of disinterested benevolence. Our Redeemer throws souls into the arms of the church, for them to care for unselfishly and train for heaven, and thus be co-workers with Him. But the church too often thrusts them away, upon the devil's battlefield. One member will say, "It is not my duty," and then bring up some trifling excuse. "Well," says another, "neither is it my duty;" and finally it is nobody's duty, and the soul is left uncared for to perish. It is the duty of every Christian to engage in this self-denying, self-sacrificing enterprise. Cannot God return into their granaries and increase their flocks, so that instead of loss there shall be increase? "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." {2T 331.1}

But every man's work is to be tested, and brought into judgment, and he be rewarded as his works have been. "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty." "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own (p. 332) flesh?" Read the next verse, and notice the rich reward promised to those who do this. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily." Here is an abundantly precious promise for all who will interest themselves in the cases of those who need help. How can God come in and bless and prosper those who have no special care for anyone except themselves, and who do not use that which He has entrusted to them, to glorify His name on the earth? {2T 331.2}

(Prov 25:25 NKJV) As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.

(Prov 31:9 NKJV) Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

(Prov 15:16 NKJV) Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble.

(Prov 16:8 NKJV) Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.

(Prov 28:6 NKJV) Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

(Heb 13:5 NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

(Prov 15:15 NKJV) All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.

(Prov 30:7-9 NKJV) Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): {8} Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food allotted to me; {9} Lest I be full and deny You, And say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.


Work And Plan Ahead

(Prov 27:18 NKJV) Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored.

(James 5:1-6 NKJV) Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! {2} Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. {3} Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. {4} Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. {5} You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. {6} You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.

Evangelism, p. 491

Adequate Wages for Women Workers To be Paid as Verily as Their Husbands.--When it is possible, let the minister and his wife go forth together. The wife can often labor by the side of her husband, accomplishing a noble work. She can visit the homes of the people and help the women in these families in a way that her husband cannot. . . . {Ev 491.1}

Select women who will act an earnest part. The Lord will use intelligent women in the work of teaching. And let none feel that these women, who understand the Word, and who have ability to teach, should not receive remuneration for their labors. They should be paid as verily as are their husbands. There is a great work for women to do in the cause of present truth. Through the exercise of womanly tact and a wise use of their knowledge of Bible truth, they can remove difficulties that our brethren cannot meet. We need women workers to labor in connection with their husbands, and should encourage those who wish to engage in this line of missionary effort.--Letter 142, 1909. {Ev 491.2}

Sacrificing Not to Be Limited to Faithful Women.-- A great work is to be done in our world, and every talent is to be used in accordance with righteous principles. If a woman is appointed by the Lord to do a certain work, her work is to be estimated according to its value. Every laborer is to receive his or her just due. {Ev 491.3}

It may be thought to be a good plan to allow persons to give talent and earnest labor to the work of God, while they draw nothing from the treasury. But this is making a difference, and selfishly withholding from such workers their due. God will not put His sanction on any such plan. Those who invented this (p. 492) method may have thought that they were doing God service by not drawing from the treasury to pay these God-fearing, soul-loving laborers. But there will be an account to settle by and by, and then those who now think this exaction, this partiality in dealing, a wise scheme, will be ashamed of their selfishness. God sees these things in a light altogether different from the light in which finite men view them. {Ev 491.4}

(Prov 14:15 NKJV) The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.

(Prov 22:3 NKJV) A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

Selected Messages, book 2, p. 329

Every week you should lay by in some secure place five or ten dollars not to be used up unless in case of sickness. With economy you may place something at interest. With wise management you can save something after paying your debts.--Letter 29, 1884. {2SM 329.1}

I have known a family receiving twenty dollars a week to spend every penny of this amount, while another family of the same size, receiving but twelve dollars a week, laid aside one or two dollars a week, managing to do this by refraining from purchasing things which seemed to be necessary but which could be dispensed with.--Letter 156, 1901. {2SM 329.2}

Preparing for the Day of Reduced Income You might today have had a capital of means to use in case of emergency and to aid the cause of God, if you had economized as you should. Every week a portion of your wages should be reserved and in no case touched unless suffering actual want, or to render back to the Giver in offerings to God. . . . {2SM 329.3}

The means you have earned has not been wisely and economically expended so as to leave a margin, should you (p. 330) be sick and your family deprived of the means you bring to sustain them. Your family should have something to rely upon if you should be brought into straitened places.--Letter 5, 1877. {2SM 329.4}

(Prov 28:8 NKJV) One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.


Debt And "Surety"

(Prov 22:7 NKJV) The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Counsels on Stewardship, p. 257

Freedom Through Self-Denial Be determined never to incur another debt. Deny yourself a thousand things rather than run in debt. This has been the curse of your life, getting into debt. Avoid it as you would the smallpox. {CS 257.1}

Make a solemn covenant with God that by His blessing you will pay your debts and then owe no man anything if you live on porridge and bread. It is so easy in preparing your table to throw out of your pocket twenty-five cents for extras. Take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves. It is the mites here and the mites there that are spent for this, that, and the other, that soon run up into dollars. Deny self at least while you are walled in with debts. . . . Do not falter, be discouraged, or turn back. Deny your taste, deny the indulgence of appetite, save your pence and pay your debts. Work them off as fast as possible. When you can stand forth a free man again, owing no man anything, you will have achieved a great victory.--Letter 4, 1877. (p. 258){CS 257.2}

Personal Debt Not to Hinder Liberality Some have not come up and united in the plan of systematic benevolence, excusing themselves because they were not free from debt. They plead that they must first "owe no man anything." But the fact that they are in debt does not excuse them. I saw that they should render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. Some feel conscientious to "owe no man anything," and think that God can require nothing of them until their debts are all paid. Here they deceive themselves.

Counsels on Stewardship, p. 257 (continued)

They fail to render to God the things that are His. Everyone must bring to the Lord a suitable offering. Those who are in debt should take the amount of their debts from what they possess, and give a proportion of the remainder.--IT 220. {CS 258.1}

Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 277 - 278

Chap. 54 - Moving Forward in Faith To make no move that calls for the investment of means unless we have the money in hand to complete the contemplated work, should not always be considered the wisest plan. In the upbuilding of His work, the Lord does not always make everything plain before His servants. He sometimes tries the confidence of His people by having them move forward in faith. Often He brings them into strait and trying places, bidding them go forward when their feet seem to be touching the waters of the Red Sea. It is at such times, when the prayers of His servants ascend to Him in earnest faith, that He opens the way before them, and brings them out into a large place. {CS 277.1}

The Lord wants His people in these days to believe that He will do as great things for them as He did for the children of Israel in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. We are to have an educated faith that will not hesitate to follow His instructions in the most difficult experiences. "Go forward" is the command of God to His people. {CS 277.2}

Faith and cheerful obedience are needed to bring the Lord's designs to pass. When He points out the necessity of establishing the work in places where it will have influence, the people are to walk and work by faith. By their godly conversation, their humility, their prayers and earnest efforts, they should strive to bring the people to appreciate the good work that the Lord has established among them. It was the Lord's purpose that the Loma Linda Sanitarium should become the property of our people, and He brought it about (p. 278) at a time when the rivers of difficulty were full and overflowing their banks. {CS 277.3}

The working of private interests for the gaining of personal ends is one thing. In this, men may follow their own judgment. But the carrying forward of the Lord's work in the earth is entirely another matter. When He designates that a certain property should be secured for the advancement of His cause and the building up of His work, whether it be for sanitarium or school work, or for any other branch, He will make the doing of that work possible, if those who have experience will show their faith and trust in His purposes, and will move forward promptly to secure the advantages He points out. While we are not to seek to wrest property from any man, yet when advantages are offered, we should be wide awake to see the advantage, that we may make plans for the upbuilding of the work. And when we have done this, we should exert every energy to secure the freewill offerings of God's people for the support of these new plants.-- 9T 271, 272. {CS 278.1}

Danger in Extreme Position It is right to borrow money to carry forward a work that we know God desires to have accomplished. We should not wait in inconvenience, and make the work much harder, because we do not wish to borrow money. Mistakes have been made in incurring debt to do that which could well have waited till a future time. But there is danger of going to the other extreme. We are not to place ourselves in a position that will endanger health and make our work wearing. We are to act sensibly. We must do the work that needs to be done, even if we have to borrow money and pay interest.-- Letter 111, 1903. (p. 279){CS 278.2}

(Prov 6:1-5 NKJV) My son, if you become surety for your friend, If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, {2} You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth. {3} So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; Plead with your friend. {4} Give no sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids. {5} Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

(Prov 11:15 NKJV) He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure.

(Prov 17:18 NKJV) A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And becomes surety for his friend.

(Prov 14:21 NKJV) He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.

(Prov 17:17 NKJV) A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

(Prov 18:24 NKJV) A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(Prov 27:10 NKJV) Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend, Nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

(Mal 3:8-10 NKJV) "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. {9} You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. {10} Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.


(2 Cor 8:9 NKJV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

(Gal 2:10 NKJV) They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.

(2 Th 3:6-12 NKJV) But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. {7} For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; {8} nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, {9} not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. {10} For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. {11} For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. {12} Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

(1 Tim 6:6-10 NKJV) Now godliness with contentment is great gain. {7} For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. {8} And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. {9} But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. {10} For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

(1 Tim 6:17-18 NKJV) Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. {18} Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,

(James 2:1-6 NKJV) My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

{James 2:2-6} For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, {3} and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," {4} have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? {5} Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? {6} But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?

(Rev 2:9 NKJV) "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

(Rev 3:14-18 NKJV) "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: {15} "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. {16} "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. {17} "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; {18} "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Christ's Object Lesson, pp. 351 - 352

Money God also entrusts men with means. He gives them power to get wealth. He waters the earth with the dews of heaven and with the showers of refreshing rain. He gives the sunlight, which warms the earth, awakening to life the things of nature and causing them to flourish and bear fruit. And He asks for a return of His own. {COL 351.1}

Our money has not been given us that we might honor and glorify ourselves. As faithful stewards we are to use it for the honor and glory of God. Some think that only a portion of their means is the Lord's. When they have set apart a portion for religious and charitable purposes, they regard the remainder as their own, to be used as they see fit. But in this they mistake. All we possess is the Lord's, and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it. In the use of every penny, it will be seen whether we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves. {COL 351.2}

Money has great value, because it can do great good. In the hands of God's children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, and clothing for the naked. It is a defense for the oppressed, and a means of help to the sick. But money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of Christ. (p. 352) {COL 351.3}

Hoarded wealth is not merely useless, it is a curse. In this life it is a snare to the soul, drawing the affections away from the heavenly treasure. In the great day of God its witness to unused talents and neglected opportunities will condemn its possessor. The Scripture says, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall bear witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth." James 5:1-4. {COL 352.1}

But Christ sanctions no lavish or careless use of means. His lesson in economy, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost," is for all His followers. (John 6:12.) He who realizes that his money is a talent from God will use it economically, and will feel it a duty to save that he may give. {COL 352.2}

The more means we expend in display and self-indulgence, the less we can have to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Every penny used unnecessarily deprives the spender of a precious opportunity of doing good.

Christ's Object Lesson, pp. 351 - 352 (continued)

It is robbing God of the honor and glory which should flow back to Him through the improvement of His entrusted talents. {COL 352.3}

Kindly Impulses and Affections Kindly affections, generous impulses, and a quick apprehension of spiritual things are precious talents, and lay their possessor under a weighty responsibility. All are to be used in God's service. But here many err. Satisfied with the possession of these qualities, they fail to bring (p. 353) them into active service for others. They flatter themselves that if they had opportunity, if circumstances were favorable, they would do a great and good work. But they are awaiting the opportunity. They despise the narrowness of the poor niggard who grudges even a pittance to the needy. They see that he is living for self, and that he is responsible for his misused talents. With much complacency they draw the contrast between themselves and such narrow-minded ones, feeling that their own condition is much more favorable than that of their mean-souled neighbors. But they are deceiving themselves. The mere possession of unused qualities only increases their responsibility. Those who possess large affections are under obligation to God to bestow them, not merely on their friends, but on all who need their help. Social advantages are talents, and are to be used for the benefit of all within reach of our influence. The love that gives kindness to only a few is not love, but selfishness. It will not in any way work for the good of souls or the glory of God. Those who thus leave their Master's talents unimproved are even more guilty than are the ones for whom they feel such contempt. To them it will be said, Ye knew your Master's will, but did it not. {COL 352.4}

Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 534 - 536

Their principles and positions in political matters are a great hindrance to their spiritual advancement. These are a constant snare to them and a reproach to our faith, and those who retain these principles will eventually be brought just where the enemy would be glad to have them, where they will be finally separated from Sabbathkeeping Christians. These brethren cannot receive the approval of God while they lack sympathy for the oppressed colored race and are at variance with the pure, republican principles of our Government. God has no more sympathy with rebellion upon earth than with the rebellion in heaven, when the great rebel questioned the foundation of God's government and was thrust out with all who sympathized with him in his rebellion. {1T 534.1}

Chap. 93 - Usury In the view given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that the subject of taking usury should be considered by Sabbathkeepers. Wealthy men have no right to take interest from their poor brethren, but they may receive usury from unbelievers. "And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him. . . . Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase."

(p. 535) "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury: unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it." {1T 534.2}

God has been displeased with Sabbathkeepers for their avaricious spirit. Their desire to get gain is so strong that they have taken advantage of poor, unfortunate brethren in their distress and have added to their own already abundant means, while these poorer brethren have suffered for the same means. "Am I my brother's keeper?" is the language of their hearts. {1T 535.1}

A few years ago some of the poorer brethren were in danger of losing their souls through wrong impressions. Everywhere Satan was tempting them in regard to the wealthy. These poor brethren were constantly expecting to be favored, when it was their duty to rely upon their own energies; and had they been favored, it would have been the worst thing that could have been done for them. All through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers, Satan was seeking to overthrow the poorer class by his temptations. Some who have lacked judgment and wisdom have taken their own course, being unwilling to ask advice or to follow it.

Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 534 - 536 (continued)

Such have had to suffer as the result of their miserable calculation, and yet these same ones would feel that they should be favored by their brethren who have property. These things needed to be corrected. The first-mentioned class did not realize the responsibilities resting upon the wealthy, nor the perplexity and cares they were compelled to have because of their means. All they could see was that these had means to use, while they themselves were cramped for the same. But as a general thing the wealthy have regarded all the poor in the same light, when there is a class of poor who are doing the best in their power to glorify God, to do good, to live for the truth. These persons are of solid (p. 536) worth. Their judgment is good, their spirit precious in the sight of God; and the amount of good which they accomplish in their unpretending way is tenfold greater than that accomplished by the wealthy, although the latter may give large sums on certain occasions. The rich fail to see and realize the necessity of doing good, of being rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. {1T 535.2}

Chap. 94 - Deceitfulness of Riches Some who profess to believe the truth are lacking in discernment and fail to appreciate moral worth. Persons who boast much of their fidelity to the cause and talk as though they think they know all that is worth knowing, are not humble in heart. They may have money and property, and this is sufficient to give them influence with some; but it will not raise them one jot in favor with God. Money has power and sways a mighty influence. Excellence of character and moral worth are often overlooked if possessed by the poor man. But what does God care for money, for property? The cattle upon a thousand hills are His. The world and all that is therein are His. The inhabitants of the earth are as grasshoppers before Him. Men and property are but as the small dust of the balance. He is no respecter of persons. {1T 536.1}

Men of property often look upon their wealth and say: By my wisdom have I gotten me this wealth. But who gave them power to get wealth? God has bestowed upon them the ability which they possess, but instead of giving Him the glory they take it to themselves. He will prove them and try them, and will bring their glorying to the dust; He will remove their strength and scatter their possessions. Instead of a blessing they will realize a curse. An act of wrong or oppression, a deviation from the right way, should no sooner be tolerated in (p. 537) a man who possesses property than in a man who has none. All the riches that the most wealthy ever possessed are not of sufficient value to cover the smallest sin before God; they will not be accepted as a ransom for transgression. Repentance, true humility, a broken heart, and a contrite spirit alone will be accepted of God. And no man can have true humility before God unless the same is exemplified before others. Nothing less than repentance, confession, and forsaking of sin is acceptable to God. {1T 536.2}

The Adventist Home, pp. 391 - 394(not included with lesson help)

Counsels on Stewardship, p. 79

No Better Than Sacrilege That which has been set apart according to the Scriptures as belonging to the Lord, constitutes the revenue of the gospel, and is no longer ours. It is no better than sacrilege for a man to take from God's treasury in order to serve himself or to serve others in their secular business. Some have been at fault in diverting from the altar of God that which has been especially dedicated to Him. All should regard this matter in the right light. Let no one, when brought into a strait place, take money consecrated to religious purposes, and use it for his advantage, soothing his conscience by saying that he will repay it at some future time. Far better cut down the expenses to correspond with the income, to restrict the wants, and live within the means, than to use the Lord's money for secular purposes.--9T 246, 247. {CS 79.1}