Benevolence (Systematic B)

           Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                s y s t e m a t i c     b e n e v o l e n c e        (  3  RELATED  PHRASES )                     

                       The  phrase  'Systematic benevolence'  appears  131  times in the published writings of EGW          See page on Original site                                                   Related phrase:   Plan of systematic benevolence

In the balances of the sanctuary, the gifts of the poor, made from love to Christ, are not estimated according to the amount given, but according to the love which prompts the sacrifice. The promises of Jesus will as surely be realized by the liberal poor man, who has but little to offer, but who gives that little freely, as by the wealthy man who gives of his abundance. The poor man makes a sacrifice of his little, which he really feels. He really denies himself of some things that he needs for his own comfort, while the wealthy man gives of his abundance, and feels no want, denies himself nothing that he really needs. Therefore there is a sacredness in the poor man's offering that is not found in the rich man's gift; for the rich give of their abundance. God's providence has arranged the entire plan of systematic benevolence for the benefit of man. His providence never stands still. If God's servants follow His opening providence, all will be active workers.-- 3T 398, 399.  {CS 180.1}

 

 

Constant, self-denying benevolence is God's remedy for the cankering sins of selfishness and covetousness. God has arranged systematic benevolence to sustain His cause and relieve the necessities of the suffering and needy. He has ordained that giving should become a habit, that it may counteract the dangerous and deceitful sin of covetousness. Continual giving starves covetousness to death. Systematic benevolence is designed in the order of God to tear away treasures from the covetous as fast as they are gained, and to consecrate them to the Lord, to whom they belong. . . .  {AH 370.4}

 The constant practice of God's plan of  systematic benevolence weakens covetousness and strengthens benevolence. If riches increase, men, even those professing godliness, set their hearts upon them; and the more they have, the less they give to the treasury of the Lord. Thus riches make men selfish, and hoarding feeds covetousness; and these evils strengthen by active exercise. God knows our danger and has hedged us about with means to prevent our own ruin. He requires the constant exercise of benevolence, that the force of habit in good works may break the force of habit in an opposite direction. {AH 371.1}

 

 
Our work was not sustained by large gifts or legacies; for we have few wealthy men among us. What is the secret of our prosperity? We have moved under the orders of the Captain of our salvation. God has blessed our united efforts. The truth has spread and flourished. Institutions have multiplied. The mustard seed has grown to a great tree. The system of organization has proved a grand success. Systematic benevolence was entered into according to the Bible plan. The body "has been compacted by that which every joint supplieth." As we have advanced, our system of organization has still proved effectual. {CET 197.2} 
 
I saw that in the arrangement of Systematic Benevolence hearts will tested and proved. It is a constant, living test. It brings one to understand his own heart, whether the truth or the love of the world predominates. Here is a test for the naturally selfish and covetous. They will put down their possessions at very low figures. Here they dissemble. Said the angel, "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully." Angels are watching the development of character, and the doings of such are carried to heaven by the heavenly messengers. Some will be visited of God for these things, and their increase will be brought down to their figures. "There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." Proverbs 11: 24, 25.  {4bSG 53.1}  {1T 221.3}
 
All should be taught to do what they can for the Master; to render to Him according as He has prospered them. He claims as His just due a tenth of their income, be it large or small; and those who withhold this, commit robbery toward Him and cannot expect His prospering hand to be with them. Even if the church is composed mostly of poor brethren, the subject of systematic benevolence should be thoroughly explained, and the plan heartily adopted. God is able to fulfill His promises. His resources are infinite, and He employs them all in accomplishing His will. And when He sees a faithful performance of duty in the payment of the tithes, He often, in His wise providence, opens ways whereby it shall increase. He who follows God's arrangement in the little that has been given him, will receive the same returns as he who bestows of his abundance.-- Gospel Workers, pp. 222, 223. (1915)  {Ev 250.4}
 
Ministers too frequently neglect these important branches of the work,--health reform, spiritual gifts, systematic benevolence, and the great branches of the missionary work. Under their labors, large numbers may embrace the theory of the truth, but in time it is found that there are many who will not bear the proving of God. If the teacher of truth had brought these converts along as he should have done, presenting before them the obligation which rested upon them, many who afterward drew back to perdition might have been saved.  {GW92 99.1}
 
Constant, self-denying benevolence is God's remedy for the cankering sins of selfishness and covetousness. God has arranged systematic benevolence to sustain His cause and relieve the necessities of the suffering and needy. He has ordained that giving should become a habit, that it may counteract the dangerous and deceitful sin of covetousness.  Continual giving starves covetousness to death. . . . He requires the constant exercise of benevolence, that the force of habit in good works may break the force of habit in an opposite direction.  {ML 333.4}
 
Systematic benevolence looks to you as needless; you overlook the fact that it originated with God, whose wisdom is unerring. This plan He ordained to save confusion, to correct covetousness, avarice, selfishness, and idolatry. This system was to cause the burden to rest lightly, yet with due weight, upon all. The salvation of man cost a dear price, even the life of the Lord of glory, which He freely gave to lift man from degradation and to exalt him to become heir of the world. God has so ordained that man shall aid his fellow man in the great work of redemption. He who excuses himself from this, who is unwilling to deny himself that others may become partakers with him of the heavenly benefit, proves himself unworthy of the life to come, unworthy of the heavenly treasure which cost so great a sacrifice. God wants no unwilling offering, no pressed sacrifice. Those who are thoroughly converted and who appreciate the work of God will give cheerfully the little required of them, considering it a privilege to bestow.  {1T 545.3}

 

                                        Plan   of   Systematic   Benevolence                                                                  

 

The plan of Systematic Benevolence is pleasing to God. I was pointed back to the days of the apostles, and saw that God laid the plan by the descent of his Holy Spirit, and by the gift of prophecy counseled his people in regard to a system of benevolence. All were to share in this work of imparting of their carnal things to those who ministered unto them in spiritual things. They were also taught that the widows and fatherless had a claim upon their charity. Pure and undefiled religion is defined, to visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction, and to keep unspotted from the world. I saw it was not merely to sympathize with them in their affliction by comforting words, but to aid them, if needy, with their substance. God has given health to young men and women, and they can obtain a great blessing by aiding the widow and fatherless in their affliction. I saw that God required young men to sacrifice more for the good of others. He claims more of them than they are willing to perform. If they keep themselves unspotted from the world, cease to follow its fashions, and lay by that which the lovers of pleasure spend in useless articles to gratify pride, and give it to the worthy afflicted ones, and to sustain the cause, they will have the approval of Him who says, "I know thy works."  {2SG 230.1}   {1T 190.1}

 

 
Some have not come up and united in the plan of systematic benevolence, excusing themselves because they were not free from debt. They plead that they must first "owe no man anything." But the fact that they are in debt does not excuse them. I saw that they should render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. Some feel conscientious to "owe no man anything," and think that God can require nothing of them until their debts are all paid. Here they deceive themselves. They fail to render to God the things that are His. Everyone must bring to the Lord a suitable offering. Those who are in debt should take the amount of their debts from what they possess, and give a proportion of the remainder.-- IT 220.  {CS 258.1}

 

 
Whenever God's people, in any period of the world, have cheerfully and willingly carried out His plan in systematic benevolence and in gifts and offerings, they have realized the standing promise that prosperity should attend all their labors just in proportion as they obeyed His requirements. When they acknowledged the claims of God, and complied with His requirements, honoring Him with their substance, their barns were filled with plenty.-- 3T 395.  {CS 347.4}
 

Chap. 41 - Systematic Benevolence  -  -    I was pointed back to the children of Israel anciently. God required of them all, both poor and rich, a sacrifice according as He had prospered them. The poor were not excused because they had not the wealth of their rich brethren. They were required to exercise economy and self-denial. And if any were so poor that it was utterly impossible for them to bring an offering to the Lord, if sickness or misfortune had deprived them of the ability to bestow, those who were wealthy were required to help them to a humble mite, that they come not before the Lord empty-handed. This arrangement preserved a mutual interest.  {1T 220.1}

   Some have not come up and united in the plan of systematic benevolence, excusing themselves because they were not free from debt. They plead that they must first "owe no man anything." But the fact that they are in debt does not excuse them. I saw that they should render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. Some feel conscientious to "owe no man anything," and think that God can require nothing of them until their debts are all paid. Here they deceive themselves. They fail to render to God the things that are His. Everyone must bring to the Lord a suitable offering. Those who are in debt should take the amount of their debts from what they possess, and give a proportion of the remainder.  {1T 220.2}

 

 

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