Consecrated Money, January 15
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10.
Both large sums and small sums are to be looked upon by you as God's entrusted treasure. When you are thinking of expending means, pray over the matter, in order that you may use the Lord's goods in a way that shall please Him. The Lord would have all who claim to be His followers imitate His example. We are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Unbelievers are watching those who profess to be the children of God to see if they are in reality that which they profess to be. Is it consistent for us to talk of Christ's self-denial, of His self-sacrifice, and yet walk and work contrary to His example? The treasures of the world are the Lord's. They are all His both by creation and by redemption.
Why is it that riches are called “unrighteous mammon”? It is because through riches men are made subject to temptation, to deal unjustly, to use them as they shall please in gratifying their desires, and in fulfilling that which their imagination calls for. Those who are in possession of money are in danger of putting the Lord's goods to a wrong use, and by this means they are led to forget God…. The rich young ruler thought that he loved God until Jesus revealed his idol to him, and showed him that he was making a God of his possessions. He had come to Christ asking, “What lack I yet?” The answer was, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me” (Luke 18:22)….
Those who have the Lord's talents of means are placed under a heavy responsibility. They are not to invest money merely for the gratification of selfish desires, for whatever is spent in this way is just that much kept from the Lord's treasury. Through the sovereign goodness of God, the Holy Spirit works through the human agent, and causes him to make smaller or larger investments in the cause of God, to make them redound to the glory of God.
Whenever you think of using the Lord's money for your own selfish gratification, remember that there are many who are in deep poverty who cannot purchase either food or clothing, and [that] they are God's heritage. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. If those who have abundant means are God's agents in dealing in truth, they will use their treasures wisely, so that none of the household of faith need to go hungry or naked.—Letter 90, January 15, 1895, to a Seventh-day Adventist woman of considerable means.