Let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper. 1 Corinthians 16:2.
Giving is a part of gospel religion. The foundation of the plan of salvation was laid in sacrifice. Jesus left the royal courts of heaven and became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. His life on earth was unselfish, marked with humiliation and sacrifice. And is the servant greater than his Lord? Shall we, partakers of the great salvation which He wrought out for us, refuse to follow our Lord, and to share in His self-denial? When the world’s Redeemer has suffered so much for us, shall we, the members of His body, live in thoughtless self-indulgence? No; self-denial is an essential condition of discipleship….
Christ, as our head, led out in the great work of salvation, but He has entrusted that work to His followers upon earth. It cannot be carried on without means, and He has given His people a plan for raising means sufficient to make His cause prosperous. The tithing system, instituted for this purpose, reaches back to the time of Moses. Even as far back as the days of Adam, long before the definite system was given, men were required to offer to God gifts for religious purposes….
God does not compel us to give to His cause. Our action must be voluntary. He will not have His treasury replenished with unwilling offerings. His design in the plan of systematic giving was to bring us into close relationship with our Creator and in sympathy and love with our fellow human beings, thus placing upon us responsibilities that would counteract selfishness and strengthen disinterested, generous impulses. We are inclined to be selfish and to close our hearts to generous deeds. The Lord, by requiring gifts to be made at stated times, designed that giving should become a habit and be looked upon as a Christian duty. The heart, opened by one gift, was not to have time to close and become selfishly cold, before another offering was bestowed….
Every man, woman, and child may become a treasurer for the Lord….
It is for our own good that He has planned to have us bear some part in the advancement of His cause. He has honored us by making us coworkers with Himself. He has ordained that there should be a necessity for the cooperation of His people, that they may cultivate and keep in exercise their benevolent affections.—Signs of the Times, March. 18, 1886.