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The Worldwide Poverty Problem

Written by: John Sernaque


CS - Counsels on Stewardship (1940) Chapter 17— A Serious Matter

It is a serious thing to embezzle the Lord’s goods, to practice robbery toward God; for in so doing the perceptions become perverted and the heart hardened. How barren is the religious experience, how clouded is the understanding, of one who loves not God with pure, unselfish love, and who fails, therefore, to love his neighbor as himself.... {CS 86.1}

The last great day will reveal to them and to the whole universe what good might have been done, had they not followed their selfish inclinations, and thus robbed God in tithes and offerings. They might have placed their treasure in the bank of heaven, and preserved it in bags that wax not old; but instead of doing this, they expended it upon themselves and their children, and seemed to feel afraid that the Lord would get any of their money or their influence, and thus they met with eternal loss. Let them contemplate the consequence of withholding from God. The slothful servant, who puts not out his Lord’s money to usury, loses an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of glory.—The Review and Herald, January 22, 1895. {CS 86.2}

To defraud God is the greatest crime of which man can be guilty; and yet this sin is deep and widespread.—The Review and Herald, October 13, 1896. {CS 86.3}

Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, there is poverty. Homeless people abound all over the country and all over the world. The US is one of the richest countries in the world. Yet many continually pass by the poor, hungry, and homeless as if they are not even there. It is evident they are in dire straits and in need of brotherly love. Instead of expending means on our children and ourselves, God calls us to step up and help those in need. There are consequences in withholding from God; you may miss the blessings that God has in store for you, an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of glory.

Our kind and gracious Father,

We thank You for teaching us the way we should go. We thank You for giving us the system of benevolence that we are to carry forward from generation to generation. We pray that You help us to remove all selfish tendencies we have acquired, to be selfless as You are. We pray that You bless the means being returned unto Your treasury, and may they be used to further the work You have given us to do. We pray Your gospel message reaches all people and no one misses the eternal inheritance in Your kingdom of glory. We thank You for Your grace, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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