Let This Mind Be in You
May 30 – June 5, 2021
“Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Study Help: Maranatha, 229; Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 641–651.
“As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here.” The Desire of Ages, 331.
1 PROPER AND IMPROPER USE OF THE IMAGINATION
1.a. Where did Jesus gather examples to illustrate truth? Matthew 13:9–13, 16.
Note: “Through the imagination He [Christ] reached the heart. His illustrations were taken from the things of daily life, and although they were simple, they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning. The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the seed, the shepherd and the sheep—with these objects Christ illustrated immortal truth; and ever afterward, when His hearers chanced to see these things of nature, they recalled His words. Christ’s illustrations constantly repeated His lessons.” The Desire of Ages, 254.
1.b. How does Paul counsel us to use our imagination? Philippians 4:8.
Note: “Christ withheld no truths essential to our salvation. Those things that are revealed are for us and our children, but we are not to allow our imagination to frame doctrines concerning things not revealed.” Medical Ministry, 100.
“Through Christ you may and should be happy and should acquire habits of self-control. Even your thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God and your feelings under the control of reason and religion. Your imagination was not given you to be allowed to run riot and have its own way without any effort at restraint or discipline. If the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong, and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character. When you decide that as Christians you are not required to restrain your thoughts and feelings you are brought under the influence of evil angels and invite their presence and their control. If you yield to your impressions and allow your thoughts to run in a channel of suspicion, doubt, and repining, you will be among the most unhappy of mortals, and your lives will prove a failure.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 310.
1.c. How did the wrong use of the imagination prepare the world to be destroyed in Noah’s day? Genesis 6:5.
2.a. What is the natural, moral tendency of human nature? Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 7:14–24.
Note: “One neglect, often repeated, forms habit. One wrong act prepares the way for another. That act, repeated, forms habit. Bad habits are more easily formed than good ones, and are given up with more difficulty. It takes far less time and pains to spoil the disposition of a child than it does to imprint upon the tablets of the soul principles and habits of righteousness. It is only by constantly watching and counterworking the wrong that we can hope to make the disposition right. The Lord will be with you, mothers, as you try to form right habits in your children. But you must begin the training process early, or your future work will be very difficult.” The Review and Herald, December 5, 1899.
2.b. What is essential in the formation of correct habits? Matthew 7:24, 25.
Note: “The word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct habits of living, and the testimonies, general and personal, have been calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 323.
“Once formed, habit is like an iron net. You may struggle desperately against it, but it will not break. Your only safe course is to build for time and for eternity.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 596.
3 RELATING TO OTHERS
3.a. What is our moral obligation to our fellow men? Leviticus 19:18; Romans 13:8; Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1–5.
Note: “The reason there are so many hardhearted men and women in our world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness and has been discouraged and repressed. The better part of the nature of persons of this class was perverted and dwarfed in childhood, and unless rays of divine light can melt away their coldness and hardhearted selfishness, the happiness of such is buried forever. If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when He was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for sinful mortals, we must cultivate the sympathies of childhood, which are simplicity itself.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 539.
3.b. What does Bible prophecy predict about social problems in the last days in regard to human relations? Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1–8.
Note: “In our association with one another we are to remember that all have not the same talents or the same disposition. The workers differ in plans and ideas. Varied gifts, combined, are necessary for the success of the work. Let us remember that some can fill certain positions more successfully than others. The worker who has been given tact and ability that fit him for the accomplishment of some special line of work should not blame others for not being able to do that which he, perhaps, can do readily. Are there not things that his fellow workers can do far more successfully than he?” Evangelism, 103.
4 KEEPING ETERNITY IN VIEW
4.a. What character quality destroys peace? Isaiah 48:22 (cf. Isaiah 57:21).
Note: “It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and insult.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 16.
4.b. How does the company we keep affect our character? Proverbs 13:20; 28:7; 29:3, 24.
Note: “It has been truly said, ‘Show me your company, and I will show you your character.’ The youth fail to realize how sensibly both their character and their reputation are affected by their choice of associates. One seeks the company of those whose tastes and habits and practices are congenial. He who prefers the society of the ignorant and vicious to that of the wise and good shows that his own character is defective. His tastes and habits may at first be altogether dissimilar to the tastes and habits of those whose company he seeks; but as he mingles with this class, his thoughts and feelings change; he sacrifices right principles and insensibly yet unavoidably sinks to the level of his companions. As a stream always partakes of the property of the soil through which it runs, so the principles and habits of youth invariably become tinctured with the character of the company in which they mingle.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 221.
“God wants us to help one another by a manifestation of sympathy and unselfish love. There are those who have inherited peculiar tempers and dispositions. They may be hard to deal with; but are we faultless? They are not to be discouraged. Their errors are not to be made common property. Christ pities and helps those who err in judgment. He has suffered death for every man, and because of this He has a touching and profound interest in every man.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 222.
5.a. How does Ezekiel describe the new birth or conversion experience? Ezekiel 36:26, 27. What practice brings happiness to man? Matthew 7:12.
Note: “[Matthew 7:12 quoted.] The Saviour taught this principle to make mankind happy, not unhappy; for in no other way can happiness come. God desires men and women to live the higher life. He gives them the boon of life, not to enable them merely to gain wealth, but to improve their higher powers by doing the work He has entrusted to mankind—the work of searching out and relieving the necessities of their fellowmen. Man should work not for his own selfish interest but for the interest of every one about him, blessing others by his influence and kindly deeds. This purpose of God is exemplified in Christ’s life.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 645.
5.b. What protection and watchcare has Jesus promised to His followers? Proverbs 18:24; John 14:18; Revelation 7:15–17, last part; Hebrews 13:5, last part.
Note: “This is Jesus, the life of every grace, the life of every promise, the life of every ordinance, the life of every blessing. Jesus is the substance, the glory and fragrance, the very life itself. [John 8:12 quoted.] Then the royal path cast up [for] the ransomed to walk in is not discouraging darkness. Our pilgrimage would indeed be lonely and painful were it not for Jesus. … Then let us gather every registered promise. Let us repeat them by day and meditate upon them in the night season, and be happy.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 244.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How can a person’s imagination be brought under proper control?
2 How is Godly character formed or developed?
3 How does a person’s social life affect his character?
4 What do you think will happen to people who are difficult to get along with when Jesus comes?
5 What are the secrets of true happiness?
Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.