If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. Matthew 19:21.
Said Jesus [to the rich young ruler], “Give to the poor.” … In this direct reference He pointed out his idol. His love of riches was supreme, therefore it was impossible for him to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind. And this supreme love for his riches shut his eyes to the wants of his fellow human beings. He did not love his neighbor as himself, therefore he failed to keep the last six commandments….
I saw that if men and women love their riches better than their fellow human beings, better than God or the truth of His Word, and their hearts are on their riches, they cannot have eternal life. They would rather yield the truth than sell and give to the poor. Here they are proved to see how much God is loved, how much the truth is loved, and like the young man in the Bible, many go away sorrowful, because they cannot have their riches and a treasure in heaven too…. The love of Jesus and riches cannot dwell in the same heart….
I saw that God could send means from heaven to carry on His work; but this is out of His order. He has ordained that men and women should be His instruments, that as a great sacrifice was made to redeem them, they should act a part in this work of salvation by making a sacrifice for each other, and by thus doing show how highly they prize the sacrifice that has been made for them….
I have seen that some give of their abundance, but yet they feel no lack. They do not particularly deny themselves of anything for the cause of Christ. They still have all that heart can wish. They give liberally and heartily. God regards it, and the action and motive is known, and strictly marked by Him. They will not lose their reward. You that cannot bestow so liberally must not excuse yourselves because you cannot do as much as some others. Do what you can. Deny yourself of some article that you can do without, and sacrifice for the cause of God. Like the widow, cast in your two mites. You will actually give more than all those who have given of their abundance. And you will know how sweet it is to give to the needy, to deny self, and sacrifice for the truth, and lay up treasure in heaven.—The Review and Herald, November 26, 1857.