The Joy of Giving
by Ellen G. White
All day the people had been thronging
the house where were Christ and His disciples. All day the Saviour had been
teaching them. They had listened to His gracious words, so simple and so plain
that they were as the balm of Gilead to their souls. The healing of His divine
hand had brought health to the sick, and life to the dying. The day had seemed
to them like heaven on earth, and they were utterly unconscious of how long it
had been since they had eaten anything.
The sun was sinking in the west, and
yet the people lingered. Jesus had labored all day long without food or rest.
He was pale from weariness and hunger. But He could not withdraw from the
multitude that pressed upon Him.
"His disciples came to Him, saying,
This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that
they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto
them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him, We have
here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to Me. And He
commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and
the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the
loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude."
In this parable is wrapped up a deep,
spiritual lesson for God's workers. Christ received from the Father; He
imparted to the disciples; they imparted to the multitude; and the people to
one another. So all who are united with Christ will receive from Him the bread
of life, the heavenly food, and impart it to others.
In full reliance upon God, Jesus took
the small store of loaves; and although there was but a small supply for His
own family of disciples, He did not invite them to eat but began to distribute
to them, bidding them serve the people. The food multiplied in His hands; and
the hands of the disciples, reaching out to Christ, Himself the Bread of Life,
were never empty. The little store was sufficient for all. After the wants of
the people had been supplied, the fragments were gathered up, and Christ and
His disciples ate of the precious, heaven-supplied food.
The disciples were the channel of
communication between Christ and the people. This should be a great
encouragement to His disciples today. Christ is the great Center, the Source of
all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most
intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of
themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart
only as we receive, and we can receive only as we impart. As we continue to
impart, we shall continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall
"There is that scattereth, and yet
increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to
poverty." Mark that pool which receives the showers of heaven, but has no
outlet. It is a blessing to no one, but in stagnant selfishness poisons the air
around. Now look at the stream flowing from the mountain side, refreshing the
thirsty land through which it passes. What blessing it brings! One would think
that in giving so liberally, it would exhaust its resources. But not so. It is
a part of God's great plan that the stream that gives shall never lack; and day
by day and year by year it flows on its way, ever receiving and ever giving.
There is nothing, save the selfish
heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal
that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf
of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and
shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor
animal could live; and man and animal in turn minister to the life of tree and
shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in
blessing to the world. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and
fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists
ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring
forth and bud.
The angels of glory find their joy in
giving,--giving love and tireless watch-care to souls that are fallen and
unholy; heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world
light from the courts above; by gentle, patient ministry they move upon the
human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ that is even
closer than they themselves can know.
God desires us to give--cheerfully,
willingly, gladly. None can keep His law without ministering to others.
Happiness is the gift of God to him who, in the spirit of Christ, toils for the
good of others.
There are many to whom life is a
painful struggle. They feel their deficiencies, and are miserable and
unbelieving; they think they have nothing for which to be grateful. Kind words,
looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation, would be to many a struggling,
lonely one as the cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. A word of sympathy, an
act of kindness, would lift burdens that rest heavily upon weary shoulders. And
every word or deed of unselfish kindness is an expression of the love of Christ
for lost humanity
"Freely ye have received; freely
give." "Arise, shine; for thy light is come; and the glory of the Lord is risen
upon thee." If upon your spirit the glory of the Lord has risen; if you have
beheld His beauty who is the chiefest among ten thousand, and the One
altogether lovely; if your soul has become radiant in the presence of His
glory, to you is this word from the Master sent. Have you stood with Christ on
the mount of transfiguration? Down in the plain there are souls enslaved by
Satan; they are waiting for the word of faith and prayer to set them free.
The one who stands nearest to Christ
will be he who on earth has drunk most deeply of the spirit of His
self-sacrificing love,--love that "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, . . .
seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil,"--love that
moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to live and labor and sacrifice, even
unto death, for the saving of humanity.
Published in Signs of the
Times, January 22, 1902.
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Our Righteousness A Morning Talk
Faith Alone Part 1
Faith Alone Part 2
Was Secured by the Death of Christ
Those Things Which are Above Part 1
Those Things Which are Above Part 2
Our Loving Comforter and Restorer
to Show Christ to the World
Him Take Hold of My Strength"
G. White's Last Recorded Letter
Joy of Giving
New Year's Day Letter
Letter of Comfort and Assurance
Prayer of Consecration
for the Tempted
Fair Flowers of Promise
Godís Love is Manifested, Part 1
Godís Love is Manifested, Part 2
are Complete in Him," Part 1
are Complete in Him," Part 2
are Complete in Him," Part 3
Will Give You Rest"
as Christ Worked
Character of God Revealed in Christ
God Desires Us to Be
Plans the Best
and it shall be given you, Part 1
and it shall be given you, Part 2
Meaning of God's Pardoning Love, Part 1
Meaning of God's Pardoning Love, Part 2
Foundation of Our Peace
Thing Impossible With God
Spans the Gulf of Sin, Part 1
Spans the Gulf of Sin, Part 2
New Year's Day Letter
Mighty and Inspiring Conflict
Word a Treasure House
You May Trust
Filled with Thankfullnes to God
and Godís Love; Sin, Judgment, and the Shortness of Time
for the New Year