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The Church's Great Need

Written by: John Sernaque


CS - Counsels on Stewardship (1940) Chapter 21—The Use of the Tithe

God has given special direction as to the use of the tithe. He does not design that His work shall be crippled for want of means. That there may be no haphazard work and no error, He has made our duty on these points very plain. The portion that God has reserved for Himself is not to be diverted to any other purpose than that which He has specified. Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe, to use according to their own judgment. They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord’s work. {CS 101.1}

The minister should, by precept and example, teach the people to regard the tithe as sacred. He should not feel that he can retain and apply it according to his own judgment, because he is a minister. It is not his. He is not at liberty to devote to himself whatever he thinks is his due. He should not give his influence to any plans for diverting from their legitimate use the tithes and offerings dedicated to God. They are to be placed in His treasury and held sacred for His service as He has appointed. {CS 101.2}

God desires all His stewards to be exact in following divine arrangements. They are not to offset the Lord’s plans by performing some deed of charity, or giving some gift or some offering, when or how they, the human agents, shall see fit. It is a very poor policy for men to seek to improve on God’s plan, and invent a makeshift, averaging up their good impulses on this and that occasion, and offsetting them against God’s requirements. God calls upon all to give their influence to His own arrangement. He has made His plan known; and all who would cooperate with Him must carry out this plan, instead of daring to attempt an improvement on it. {CS 101.3}

Let not our will, but let Thy will be done. We are to follow God’s plan and not make one up of our own. This is especially true for the ministers. The offering is not theirs; it belongs to God. God has set aside these means for the furthering of the gospel and helping others who are not able. We are all merely stewards of what God has entrusted to us. It all belongs to God, everything. God has called all to give His portion of their first fruits and not what there is left after all the bills have been paid. God has made His plan known and it is not for us to try to improve on it.

Our kind and gracious Father,

We thank You for giving us the plan of beneficence. We are privileged to be stewards of all that belongs to You. We pray to live up to our requirements to further the gospel that it may reach all the people and nations that do not know who You are. We are so grateful for the love and

kindness You show us. We thank You for providing for all our needs. We pray for Your wisdom in budgeting the money that we receive through our labors to meet Your requirement and our responsibilities to our debtors. Help us all to carry out Your plan and not try to improve on it. We thank You and praise You, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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