Quotations on Christian Stewardship


Unless otherwise indicated, these quotations come from the writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White.

Poor Men Often Do The Most For The Cause

Psalms 62:10 (KJV) "If riches increase, set not your heart upon them."

"Men who are in comparative poverty are usually the ones who do the most to sustain the cause of God. They are generous with their little. They have strengthened their generous impulses by continual liberalities. When their expenditures pressed close upon the income, their passion for earthly riches had no room or chance to strengthen. But many, when they begin to gather earthly riches, commence to calculate how long it will be before they can be in possession of a certain sum. In their anxiety to amass wealth for themselves, they fail to become rich toward God. Their benevolence does not keep pace with their accumulation. As their passion for riches increases, their affections are bound up with their treasure. The increase of their property strengthens the eager desire for more, until their giving to the Lord a tenth is considered by some a severe and unjust tax. Inspiration has said, “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” Many have said, “If I were as rich as such an one, I would multiply my gifts in the treasury of God. I would do nothing else with my wealth but use it in the advancement of the cause of God.” God has tested some of these by giving them riches; but with the riches came the fiercer temptation, and their benevolence was far less than in the days of their poverty. A grasping desire for greater riches absorbed their minds and hearts, and they committed idolatry." {RH December 15, 1874, par. 20}

What Treasure Have We Secured In The Kingdom Of God?

Luke 12:21 (NKJV) “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”"

"If we are too poor to faithfully render to God in the tithes and offerings as he requires, we are certainty too poor to dress expensively; and to eat luxuriously; for we are wasting our Lord’s money in hurtful indulgences to please and glorify ourselves. We should inquire diligently of ourselves, What treasure have we secured in the kingdom of God? Are we rich toward God?" {RH December 15, 1874, par. 15}

The Indolent Poor Are Accountable For What They Might Have Done

Proverbs 24:30-34 (NKJV) "I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. 32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; 34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man."

"Some are willing to give according to what they have, and feel that God has no further claims upon them, because they have not a great amount of means. They have no income that they can spare from the necessities of their families. But there are many of this class who might ask themselves the question; am I giving according to what I might have had? God designed that their powers of body and mind should be put to use. Some have not improved to the best account the ability that God has given them. Labor is apportioned to man. It was connected with the curse, because made necessary by sin. The physical, mental, and moral well-being of man makes a life of useful labor necessary. “Be not slothful in business,” is the injunction of the inspired apostle. {RH December 15, 1874, par. 10} No person, whether rich or poor, can glorify God by a life of indolence. All the capital that many poor men have is time and physical strength and this is so frequently wasted in love of ease, and in careless indolence, that they have nothing to bring to their Lord in tithes and in offerings. If Christian men lack wisdom to labor to the best account, and to make a judicious appropriation of their physical and mental powers, they should have meekness and lowliness of mind to receive advice and counsel of their brethren, that their better judgment may supply their own deficiencies. Many poor men who are now content to do nothing for the good of their fellow-men, and for the advancement of the cause of God, might do much if they would. They are as accountable to God for their capital of physical strength as is the rich man for his capital of money. {RH December 15, 1874, par. 11}

The Special Sacredness Of The Poor Man's Offering

Mark 12:41-44 (NKJV) "Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

"In the balances of the sanctuary, the gifts of the poor, made from love to Christ, are not estimated according to the amount given, but according to the love which prompts the sacrifice. The promises of Jesus will as surely be realized by the liberal poor man, who has but little to offer, but who gives that little freely, as by the wealthy man who gives of his abundance. The poor man makes a sacrifice of his little which he really feels. He really denies himself of some things that he needs for his own comfort, while the wealthy man gives of his abundance, and feels no want, and denies himself nothing that he really needs. Therefore, there is a sacredness in the poor man’s offering that is not found in the rich man’s gift; for the rich give of their abundance." {RH December 15, 1874, par. 8}

Burying God's Money In The Ground

Matthew 25:24-28 (NKJV) “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents."

Christians forget that they are servants of the Master, that they themselves, their time, and all that they have, belong to him. Many are tempted, and the majority are overcome, by the delusive inducements which Satan presents to invest their money where it will yield them the greatest profit in dollars and cents. There are but few who consider the binding claims that God has upon them to make it their first business to meet the necessities of his cause, and let their own desires be served last. There are but few who invest in God’s cause in proportion to their means. Many have fastened their money in property which they must sell before they can invest it in the cause of God, and thus put it to a practical use. They make this an excuse for doing but little in their Redeemer’s cause. They have as effectually buried their money in the earth as the man in the parable. They rob God of the tenth which he claims as his own, and in robbing him they rob themselves of the heavenly treasure. {RH December 15, 1874, par. 6}

Nine-Tenths Worth More Than Entire Amount

Malachi 3:10 (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."

"There are many who have looked upon the Jewish nation as a people to be pitied, because they were constantly taxed for the support of their religion; but God, who created man and provided him with all the blessings he enjoys, knew what was for his best good. And he has, through his blessing, made their nine-tenths worth more to them than the entire amount without his blessing. If any through their selfishness robbed God or brought to him an offering not perfect, disaster and loss were sure to follow them. God reads the motives of the heart. He is acquainted with the purposes of men, and will mete out to them in his own good time as they have merited." {RH December 15, 1874, par. 24}

It Is More Blessed To Give Than To Receive

Acts 20:35 (NKJV) "And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

"If those who have not made life a success were willing to be instructed, they could train themselves to habits of self-denial and strict economy, and have the satisfaction of being distributors, rather than receivers, of charity. There are many slothful servants. If they would do what it is in their power to do, they would experience so great a blessing in helping others that they would indeed realize that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.” {RH December 15, 1874, par. 13}

Systematic Benevolence Should Not Be Systematic Compulsion

2 Corinthians 8:1-4 (NKJV) "Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints."

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NKJV) "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."

"Systematic benevolence should not be made systematic compulsion. It is free-will offerings that are acceptable to God. True Christian benevolence springs from the principle of grateful love. Love of Christ cannot exist without corresponding love to those whom he came into the world to redeem. Love to Christ must be the ruling principle of the being, controlling all its emotions and directing all its energies. Redeeming love should awaken all that tender affection and self-sacrificing devotion that is possible to exist in the heart of man. When this is the case, no heart-stirring appeals will be needed to break through their selfishness and awaken their dormant sympathies, to call forth benevolent offerings for the precious cause of truth. {RH December 15, 1874, par. 1}

Most Liberal Churches Are The Most Prosperous Spiritually

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NKJV) "Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God."

"Those churches who are the most systematic and liberal in sustaining the cause of God, are the most prosperous spiritually. True liberality in the follower of Christ identifies his interest with that of his Master. In God’s dealing with the Jews and his people to the end of time, he requires systematic benevolence proportionate to their income. The plan of salvation was laid by the infinite sacrifice of the Son of God. The light of the gospel shining from the cross of Christ rebukes selfishness, and encourages liberality and benevolence. {RH December 15, 1874, par. 26}

God Constantly Supplies

"While the religion of Christ flourishes in hearts, the streams of beneficence will never cease to flow. The one who is a faithful steward is constantly giving, and God is constantly supplying that the channel shall not become dried up. But it is not the rich alone that are to sustain the cause of God in our world; those who have been blessed with the light of truth can learn to practice self-denial, and have something to give. All the little rivulets made to flow into the channel of doing good, blessing humanity, will keep the treasury supplied with means." {RH March 8, 1887, par. 4}

God Owns All

1 Chronicles 29:14 (NKJV) 14 "But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You."

"He will learn by the announcement made in the great day of accounts, if not before, that God was the owner of all he possessed, and that he was only made a trustee, or steward, and was held to a stern reckoning for the faithful administration of his trust. It is all the same, whether we have one talent, or three, or five, or ten; all are the Lord’s. Not a farthing is to be squandered upon needless things to gratify the lusts. Not a particle is to be hoarded to the neglect of the salvation of souls for whom Christ has given his life. The principal is all the Lord’s, the improvement of it is his, and on every dollar is stamped the image and superscription of Jehovah. All must render an account to God, of how their time and their talents of intellect and money have been used. It is not a light thing to be intrusted with riches; but it is a grand thing to be accounted as a faithful steward of God in making right use of the Lord’s money. “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” but how beautiful will be the character of those who have borne the trust of God’s capital worthily! If one has held all as God’s property, and heeded God’s voice to invest his property in his cause to save precious souls, he will see these souls saved in the kingdom of God, because he appropriated God’s means as he designed it should be appropriated. He will then be received into everlasting habitations. {RH March 8, 1887, par. 3}

Desire To Accumulate Wealth Is An Original Affection

"The desire to accumulate wealth is an original affection of our nature, implanted there by our Heavenly Father for noble ends." {RH March 1, 1887, par. 9}

Constant Seeking to Economize

"There are individuals who are so in love with God and the truth that they are constantly seeking to economize their resources, that they may use all they possibly can to advance the cause of truth, and thus lay up treasure for themselves in heaven. The spirit of self-denial and of benevolence will characterize the lives of all who believe the truth as it is in Jesus. They will practice the truth. They will not only receive, but they will impart. God cannot bless a self-indulgent church. {Ms25-1899.21}

Good Works Have A Powerful Influence

"The good works of God’s people have a more powerful influence than words. By their virtuous life and unselfish acts the beholder is led to desire the same righteousness which produced so good fruit. He is charmed with that power from God which transforms selfish human beings into the divine image, and God is honored, His name glorified." {2T 443.2}

Mercy Multiplies The Demands For Our Means

Luke 6:38 (NKJV) "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

"It is not to be a lamented fact that there are increasing calls to give. God, in his providence, is calling his people out from their limited sphere of action, to enter upon greater enterprises. Unlimited effort is demanded at this time when moral darkness is covering the world. Worldliness and covetousness are eating out the vitals of God’s people. They should understand that it is his mercy which multiplies the demands for their means. The angel of God places benevolent acts close beside prayer. He said to Cornelius, “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” {RH December 15, 1874, par. 26}

Self-Sacrifice Is Powerful Argument For Reality Of Gospel

"A true spirit of self-sacrifice would be an argument for the reality and power of the gospel which the world could not misunderstand or gainsay, and abundant blessings would be poured upon the church." {T29 138.2}

Err On The Side Of Liberality

“As the work advances our brethren are to see and understand that they are to advance and increase in liberality. Every man is to be judged according to his works. Tell the brethren that if they err at all, let it be on the side of liberality, and not on the side of restraint. Because, as they restrict, they are developing traits of character not favorable to religious growth. Our work should be more generous, broad, and favorable as it advances.” {PH116 30.1}