April 3, 1899
“The Reality of God’s Gift” The Bible Echo 14, 14.
As we have freely received, so are we freely to give. That is, we are to give as much as we have received, and on the same terms. We have received everything; we are to give everything. The fact that we do not have a big stock to carry about with us to exhibit, does not prove that we have nothing. God is our treasure house. “The unsearchable riches of Christ” are all and always “in Him,” for “in Him are all things created,” and “in Him all things consist,” and He is ours. He saves us the trouble of looking after and caring for our vast property, while we have all the use of it on demand. He says, “Concerning the work of My hands, command ye Me.” . These are realities, and not empty words.BEST April 3, 1899, par. 1
In all this God is trying to teach the world that “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” or seemeth to have. He would have us know, and teach others, that He cares for us, and keeps us. He would have all man know that all things come from Him, so that all may give Him glory, by receiving from Him the things that He gives. True, He has said that the man who will not work shall not eat, but that does not teach us that man must support himself. No man on earth “earns his own living.” No man can earn a living. Life is too precious a commodity to be bought with money, or earned by human labour. Life is a gift. God “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” The occasions when He gives us help, when it is manifest that we are unable to do anything for ourselves, are to show us that even where we are most active we simply gather up what He showers down. Now when Christ’s followers rise to their privileges as “workers together with Him,” realising that He was on earth as a representative Man, showing what every child of God ought to do when occasion calls for it, the world will see that there is something better than what this world can give. They will not all believe, but the work that God designs for the world will speedily be accomplished. They will see that poverty does not handicap a man of God; that the expression “rich in faith” is not an empty phrase; and that the poor Christian can do what the wealthy worldling cannot. How to give with nothing is the lesson that God teaches, for He takes the things that are not, when He has a great work to do.BEST April 3, 1899, par. 2
Therefore let us know that a great need only magnifies God’s gift. Instead of despairing when we cannot see the way to accomplish a necessary thing, remember that Christ Himself is the way. Yea, He is a “new and living way.” With Him at hand, knowing His real presence, we do not need to be worried over “ways and means.” When the Lord asked Philip how they could buy bread for the multitude, Philip might well have answered, “Lord, Thou knowest, for Thou art the Bread.”BEST April 3, 1899, par. 3