Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

December 27, 1906

How Shall We Observe the Holidays?

Mrs. E. G. White

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

Shall we follow Christ as our pattern? In his life of self-sacrifice was seen not one jot or tittle of selfishness. He who had been rich in the heavenly courts, left all his wealth and power, and came to this world, clothed in the humble garb of humanity. For our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. Like him, his followers are by lives of self-denial to be a blessing to the world. If in the lives of all God's people the character of Christ were revealed, we should see thousands more converted to the truth.

If men would only remember that every favor they receive is a gift from God, would they not do very much more than they are now doing to relieve his work of the embarrassment of poverty? Would they not act a noble part in rendering to the Lord that which is his own?

Wealth hoarded will become a curse. Often the Lord can not preserve and bless the possessions of men, because the owners feel little or no obligation to assist in the great work of proclaiming the truth in new fields. Their substance, generously divided with their brethren who are laboring with meager facilities in destitute fields, would bring in return rich blessings from God.

No charity is complete unless it reveals an appreciation of the gospel. Those who now, in this time of emergency, selfishly hold on to their means, will soon suffer the loss of all they have. Those who are truly converted, and who have more than sufficient for their immediate necessities, will freely impart of their abundance to help those who are poorer than they.

All should feel an intense interest in the advancement of the third angel's message. The work of proclaiming this message has already grown to large proportions; but it is to advance still more rapidly. We need many more laborers, and God's loyal people, filled with a spirit of self-denial, should now give cheerfully and liberally, in order that facilities may be provided for the entering of new territory. In many places the work has been retarded because of the scarcity of means. The rebuke of God will rest upon those who do not come up to his help against the mighty powers of darkness.

Shall we not, as a people, refrain from following the custom of the world in unnecessary indulgence during the present holiday season? O how much might be accomplished in needy mission fields with the money that is squandered in various ways at this season of the year by those who profess to be Christians!

Will not the Seventh-day Adventists in every place first consecrate themselves to the Lord, and then do their very best, according to their circumstances, to advance his work, by gifts and offerings? Will they show that they appreciate the blessings of the Lord, and that they are grateful for his mercy? Will they not now consider their obligations to God, at a time when the world especially seeks for pleasure, and expends large sums of money for gifts to those who are not needy?

I have said to my family and my friends, I desire that no one shall make me a birthday or Christmas gift, unless it be with permission to pass it on into the Lord's treasury, to be appropriated in the establishment of missions.

I will greatly praise the name of the Lord if his people, at this time, by the exercise of benevolence, will increase the facilities for successful work in many needy fields. I long to see among Seventh-day Adventist an increase of faith and courage, and more praise and thanksgiving to God, so that where in the past there has been a withholding of means, there shall from henceforth be seen the evidences of a grateful heart,—the faithful bestowal of gifts and offerings, to supply the needs of many destitute fields.

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