T h e K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s
Golden Text Illustration A minister who went to preach in a northern village, on his arrival asked to be driven to Ebenezer Chapel. The driver said, “ Ebenezer? Oh, you mean Little Char “ Oh,” replied the cabman, “ we always call it Little Charlie’s Chapel. Charlie laid the foundation stone.” The fact was that the people wanted a new chapel; but as they were poor and ma terials were dear, they gave up the scheme. But a day or two afterward, a little boy came up to the minister’s door and rang the bell. The minister answered the ring, and found Charlie himself with six bricks in his toy wheelbarrow. The lad flushed up and said, “I heard that you had given up the idea o f a new chapel, so I brought you these six new bricks that a builder gave me, to start with.” The minister called a meeting of the people, related the incident, and it had such a powerful effect upon them that hope took the place o f despondency, and now there stands a chapel costing ¿5,000— the result o f Charlie’s example. Saved by a Dog h is is a true story, told by a m inister w h o knew the circum stances. An old man, who was unconverted, had a good Christian wife, who for years had prayed constantly for her husband’s con version, with no visible success. She could not even get him to go to church with her. She had a pet dog she liked very much, which always went with her to church, crept under the seat, and remained perfectly quiet through the service. In time the old lady died. The dog seem ed heartbroken, as well as the husband, who could find no consolation anywhere without his old companion. For several Sundays, he noticed the dog leave the house at a certain hour, and come back at a certain hour. One Sunday morn ing, he thought he would follow the dog; so he started after him. The animal seemed delighted to have his master go with him. He trotted along until they came to the church door. The old man stopped as the dog bounded up the steps, waiting at the top for his master. After standing a few moments, he said, “I’ll go in to please the d o g ; it won’t do any harm !” He went again the next and the next Sundays, and found the dog under his wife’s accustomed seat at the church. One morning, after service, he arose with tears streaming from his eyes, gave his heart to God, and told the story o f the faithful dog leading him to Christ. So we see there are many ways used by the dear heavenly Master to lead us to Him. — S elected . How W ill You Balance? The following appears back o f the bench in one of our county court rooms, hung in a frame: “From the day you open your eyes, there is entered on the Book o f Eternity a page with your name. “Yoii are given a limited length o f time to accomplish something worth while. “Your account may be closed at any mo ment. “How will you balance?” (¿ .» - A llian ce W eekly . lie’s Chapel, don’t you?” “No, I mean Ebenezer.”
Financial Crisis in the Churches lmost wherever one goes today, the same story is told of financial d if ficulties in the churches, and questions o f restriction and economy are being faced as matters o f urgency. The same is true in the great denominational missionary so cieties : Workers in foreign lands, who are not overpaid, are being asked to accept a reduction of stipend as the alternative to withdrawing from portions o f the field. The- remarkable thing is that at the same time such organizations as the China In land Mission, George Muller’s Orphan ages, Spurgeon’s Orphanage, and others conducted on undenominational lines, con tinue to receive all the money they need for their work. This is noticeably true of those which conduct their affairs “on faith lines,” in dependence on God alone for their supplies. A writer in a Free Church paper recently pointed to the striking con trast, and mentioned the following remark able facts. In last year’s report o f the China Inland Mission, we read: “Amidst the financial straitness prevailing throughout the world, it has been encouraging to see that the funds received in China from the home lands have far exceeded those of previous years.” At Spurgeon’s Orphanage, on “ Founder’s Day,” the secretary reported another good year: “All’s well,” he said, “God has sent us sufficient for all our needs.” The Ashley Down Orphanage at Bristol reports that though for certain reasons its expenditure was up last year by nearly three thousand pounds, “yet the income was larger than the expenditure.” Then the writer makes this comment: “The contrast between this sufficiency and the stringency so common with us is made more striking still by the refusal of several o f such bodies to canvass for donations and subscriptions, or to use njany o f the familiar methods of raising money. While, for a multitude o f reasons, we cannot, o f course, allow that their pros perity is the reward of their old-fashioned orthodoxy, yet it may well be that, in their reliance on God, not man, they really have something important to teach us.” The last sentence, referring to “ old- fashioned orthodoxy,” is very suggestive. It is true, of course, that some people have transferred their assistance to these very societies because it has become known that certain o f the denominational missionaries have wandered from “old-fashioned ortho doxy,” and have become tainted with mod ernism. To what extent this is so, it would be perhaps impossible to ascertain. But there can be no question that members of churches are now supporting certain so cieties because they are assured that their contributions will be used for the propa gation of the old, yet ever new, gospel; and evidently the situation is being sensed by some of the church authorities. The fact is that some of our Christian leaders have gotten away from “first things,” and we need a gracious revival in the power of the Holy Spirit, to open blind eyes, and to touch cold hearts. Then it may be discovered that funds will . be plentifully provided in answer to prayer, and according to faith, as a result of working on the basis o f “ old-fashioned orthodoxy,” as our friend designates it. -^-C h ristian H erald an d S igns of th e T im e s .
earth. * W e must give, if we would have the presence of the Lord manifest in our midst. The work o f missions and of evan gelism must be carried on. Here again we are face to face with a pressing need which is frequently overlooked—the need o f places where the youth may be trained to engage properly in the work of spread ing the gospel and of instructing the saints. These institutions present an outlet for the gifts of the Lord’s people. The teacher has a wonderful opportunity in this les son not only to instruct the class in the principles o f giving, but also to suggest places where giving may be practiced for the Lord’s glory. Lesson Questions Vs. 21-24. What action upon heart and will preceded the Israelites’ giving? What three words would describe the manner of their giving? Where did the people prob ably obtain some of the material for mak ing the tabernacle (c f. Ex. 12:35, 36)? Vs. 25-29. What part did the women have in the giving? the rulers? What are the principles that govern Christian giving? What are some good New Testa ment rules for giving (cf. Matt. 6 :3 ; 2 Cor. 9 :7; 1 Cor. 16 :2)? Discuss giving as a grace. The Meeting Place that Love Built E xodus 35 :21-29 Memory Verse: “We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Approach: God thought that the people needed a special building in which to wor ship H im ; so He planned a big and beau tiful tent, or tabernacle, where the people were to meet together. He told the peo Very carefully t h e workmen labored, and at last the tabernacle w a s finished. God wanted every one to have a part in mak ing this sacred build ing. The people were not all carpenters or skilled workmen, but God thought o f a way by which they all could help. One day Moses said to the people, “ This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offer ing unto the L ord : whosoever is of a will ing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord.” The Lord must have felt glad when He found how many o f His people had will ing hearts, for soon the gifts began to pour in—gold, silver, brass, precious stones, beautiful cloth—on and on they came, un til there was a long list of things for the furnishing o f the tabernacle. Every morn ing the people brought free offerings. At last, Moses had to tell the people to stop bringing gifts because there were more than could be used. The gifts which the people brought were little in themselves, but because every one brought something, there was more than enough. God wants our gifts no matter how small they are, but He wants only the things which we can bring with a cheerful heart. “ God loveth a cheerful giver.” ple, through Moses, just how it was to be made. L e s s o n S t o r y :
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