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Counsels on Stewardship

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    The Handicap of Riches

    Very few realize the strength of their love for money until the test is brought to bear upon them. Many who profess to be Christ's followers then show that they are unprepared for heaven. Their works testify that they love wealth more than their neighbor or their God. Like the rich young man, they inquire the way of life; but when it is pointed out and the cost estimated, and they see that the sacrifice of earthly riches is demanded, they decide that heaven costs too much. The greater the treasures laid up on the earth, the more difficult it is for the possessor to realize that they are not his own, but are lent him to be used to God's glory.CS 150.1

    Jesus here improves the opportunity to give His disciples an impressive lesson: “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.” “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”CS 150.2

    Poor Rich Men and Rich Poor Men

    Here the power of wealth is seen. The influence of the love of money over the human mind is almost paralyzing. Riches infatuate, and cause many who possess them to act as though they were bereft of reason. The more they have of this world, the more they desire. Their fears of coming to want increase with their riches. They have a disposition to hoard up means for the future. They are close and selfish, fearing that God will not provide for them. This class are indeed poor toward God. As their riches have accumulated, they have put their trust in them, and have lost faith in God and His promises.CS 150.3

    The faithful, trusting poor man becomes rich toward God by judiciously using the little he has in blessing others with his means. He feels that his neighbor has claims upon him that he cannot disregard and yet obey the command of God, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” He considers the salvation of his fellow men of greater importance than all the gold and silver the world contains.CS 151.1

    Christ points out the way in which those who have wealth, and yet are not rich toward God, may secure the true riches. He says: “Sell that ye have and give alms;” and lay up treasure in heaven. The remedy He proposes is a transfer of their affections to the eternal inheritance. By investing their means in the cause of God to aid in the salvation of souls, and by relieving the needy, they become rich in good works, and are “laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” This will prove a safe investment.CS 151.2

    But many show by their works that they dare not trust the bank of heaven. They choose to trust their means in the earth, rather than to send it before them to heaven. These have a great work to do to overcome covetousness and love of the world. Rich poor men, professing to serve God, are objects of pity. While they profess to know God, in works they deny Him. How great is the darkness of such! They profess faith in the truth, but their works do not correspond with their profession. The love of riches makes men selfish, exacting, and overbearing.—The Review and Herald, January 15, 1880.CS 151.3

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