I HAVE been for fifty years, by God’s grace, acting on the principle of Christian giving according to the Scriptures, and I cannot tell you the abundance of spiritual blessing I have received to my own soul through acting thus; that is, seeking to be a cheerful giver; seeking to give as God has been pleased to prosper me.
I began when I had comparatively very, very little to spare; but as I gave, God increased my ability to give more and more: until at last God has been pleased, in the riches of His grace, to condescend to use a poor worthless worm like me, and has entrusted me year by year with very large sums to expend. Many beloved saints are depriving themselves of wondrous spiritual blessing by not giving as stewards what is entrusted to them. They act as if it were all their own, as if all belonged to them, as if already they were in possession of the inheritance incorruptible and undefiled; forgetting that they have nothing whatever which is their own, that they are bought by the precious blood of Christ, and all they possess—their bodily strength, their time, their talents, their business, their professions, their eyes, their hands, their feet, all belong to the Lord Jesus Christ; because He has bought them with His precious blood.
Therefore may I affectionately beseech and entreat my beloved Christian friends to take this to heart, and consider that hitherto they have been depriving themselves of vast spiritual blessings, because they have not followed the principles of giving systematically, and giving as God prospers them, and according to a plan; not merely just according to impulse—not as they are moved by a missionary or charity sermon, but systematically and habitually giving on principle, just as God enables them. If He entrusts to them one pound to give accordingly a proportion; if they are left a legacy of a thousand pounds, to give accordingly; if He entrusts them with ten thousand pounds, or whatever it might be, to give accordingly. Oh, my brethren, I believe if we realized the blessing, we would give thus on principle; and, if so, we should give a hundred times more than we do now.
Just as we are constrained by the love of Christ, so God condescends to use us; and as we give, He is pleased to entrust to us more and more. It is impossible for us to say to what amount God may entrust us, or how largely He may give unto us the joy and honour, the precious privilege, of communicating to others.
And here allow me to refer to my own experience. The first year I began giving, God entrusted me with about fifty pounds; but this afterwards increased, until now He has entrusted me with about two thousand pounds a year. The poor man George Müller, known by everybody as a poor man, who is this very day as a poor man, who stands before you a poor man, and yet by the grace of God has been enabled to give about forty thousand pounds sterling—that is altogether since I began.
Of late, God has allowed me to receive one legacy after another, and that sometimes two thousand and even three thousand a year have I been enabled to give; and see the blessedness, the privilege, the wondrous honour, that a poor man as I am should thus be entrusted by Him! By the grace of God I desire to be nothing but poor. I wish to be nothing else than a poor man, having nothing, no house of my own, no money in the Funds, not an acre of land—a poor man all together; day by day waiting on God for all I need, the very clothes that I wear. I wait on God for everything, and yet He has allowed me the great honour and blessed privilege of giving more than forty thousand pounds sterling within the last fifty years. I began in the year 1830 to live thus as steward for the Lord. In the little way I could I gave, but God increased my ability more and more, until now He is allowing me to give in His service, year by year, two or three thousand pounds. Now, why do I say it? To encourage the hearts of my beloved brethren to seek to give systematically. If you have not done so hitherto, do begin now. It is a blessed thing for the soul, it is a blessed thing for your purse and God will entrust to you more and more.
Now I do not say imitate me, George Müller; but I say, seek to give, if it be ever so little, to give systematically; if it be only the twentieth part of your income, give systematically, and you will find a blessing to your soul; and the blessing with regard to stewardship will be such that you will be encouraged more and more to go on in this way.
(Part of an Address at a Mildmay Park Conference.)