August 28, 2011 – September 3, 2011
Families for Christ
“Feed the flock of God which is among you.” I Peter 5:2.
Study Help: The Adventist Home, 181–186.
“Satan is marshalling his hosts; and are we individually prepared for the fearful conflict that is just before us? Are we preparing our children for the great crisis? Are we preparing ourselves and our households to understand the position of our adversaries and their modes of warfare?” The Adventist Home, 186.
1 GUARDING OUR FLOCK
- Where did God place Adam and Eve and why? Genesis 2:8, 9, 15. After sin, what did God want Adam and Eve to do and to learn? Genesis 3:19, 23.
Note: “The home of our first parents was to be a pattern for other homes as their children should go forth to occupy the earth. … In the surroundings of the holy pair was a lesson for all time—that true happiness is found, not in the indulgence of pride and luxury, but in communion with God through His created works.” The Adventist Home, 132.
“Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only. … From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin.” Education, 26.
- Where is the best place to raise our family and why? Isaiah 32:18.
Note: “Be not controlled by the desire for wealth, the dictates of fashion, or the customs of society. Consider what will tend most to simplicity, purity, health, and real worth. …
“Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, where the sights and sounds frequently suggest thoughts of evil, where turmoil and confusion bring weariness and disquietude, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature.” The Adventist Home, 131, 132.
2 BEWARE OF INFLUENCE
- In choosing our home and associations, what counsel does our Lord give us? I John 2:15.
Note: “Life in the cities is false and artificial. The intense passion for money getting, the whirl of excitement and pleasure seeking, the thirst for display, the luxury and extravagance—all are forces that, with the great masses of mankind, are turning the mind from life’s true purpose. They are opening the door to a thousand evils. Upon the youth they have almost irresistible power.” The Adventist Home, 135.
“In choosing a home, God would have us consider, first of all, the moral and religious influences that will surround us and our families.
“We should choose the society most favorable to our spiritual advancement, and avail ourselves of every help within our reach; for Satan will oppose many hindrances to make our progress toward heaven as difficult as possible. We may be placed in trying positions, for many cannot have their surroundings what they would; but we should not voluntarily expose ourselves to influences that are unfavorable to the formation of Christian character.” Ibid., 131.
“The physical surroundings in the cities are often a peril to health.” Ibid., 135.
“To parents He [the Lord] sends the warning cry: Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil.” Ibid., 139.
- What is a more subtle danger that we need to guard against? II Timothy 3:5.
Note: “If we place ourselves among associates whose influence has a tendency to make us forgetful of the high claims the Lord has upon us, we invite temptation and become too weak in moral power to resist it.” The Adventist Home, 459.
“We must not center our affections on worldly relatives, who have no desire to learn the truth. We may seek in every way, while associated with them, to let our light shine; but our words, our deportment, our customs and practices, should not in any sense be molded by their ideas and customs. We are to show forth the truth in all our intercourse with them. If we cannot do this, the less association we have with them the better it will be for our spirituality.” Ibid., 462.
3 TRAINING OUR FLOCK
- What vocation has God often given His people? Why? Proverbs 27:18; Ecclesiastes 3:13.
Note: “God provided the conditions most favorable for the development of character. The people who were under His direction still pursued the plan of life that He had appointed in the beginning. Those who departed from God built for themselves cities. … But the men who held fast God’s principles of life dwelt among the fields and hills. They were tillers of the soil and keepers of flocks and herds; and in this free, independent life, with its opportunities for labor and study and meditation, they learned of God and taught their children of His works and ways.” The Adventist Home, 181.
- What does God still desire us to teach our children? Proverbs 12:11; 28:19.
Note: “Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 179.
“Had this course been followed, … the students would have secured an all round education, which would have prepared them, not only for practical work in various trades, but for a place on the Lords’ farm in the earth made new.” Ibid., 177.
- What kinds of educational facilities are necessary to accomplish this type of education? Psalm 128:3, 4; II Timothy 1:5; 3:14, 15.
Note: “In His wisdom the Lord has decreed that the family shall be the greatest of all educational agencies. It is in the home that the education of the child is to begin. …
“One great reason why there is so much evil in the world today is that parents occupy their minds with other things than that which is all important—how to adapt themselves to the work of patiently and kindly teaching their children the way of the Lord. …
“It is in the home school that our boys and girls are to be prepared to attend the church school.” The Adventist Home, 182, 183, 185.
4 ATTITUDES OF THE TIMES
- What must we also guard against in our thinking and behavior? I Timothy 6:3–5.
- What did Jesus warn us about, and how does this apply to today? Matthew 24:37, 38.
Note: “What of the marriage relation today? Is it not perverted and defiled, made even as it was in Noah’s day? Divorce after divorce is recorded in the daily papers. This is the marriage of which Christ speaks when He says that before the flood they were ‘marrying and giving in marriage’ [Matthew 24:38].” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 56.
“As it was in the days of Noah, every kind of evil is on the increase. Divorce and marriage is the order of the time.” Ibid., vol. 10, 261.
“Jesus came to our world to rectify mistakes and to restore the moral image of God in man. Wrong sentiments in regard to marriage had found a place in the minds of the teachers of Israel. They were making of none effect the sacred institution of marriage.” The Adventist Home, 341.
- What should we keep in mind as we face the many varying attitudes of the times in which we live? Matthew 7:13–21; II Corinthians 11:13–15.
- Who only will be found entering the gates of heaven? Revelation 14:12.
Note: “By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 459.
“Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. … ‘Girding up the loins of your mind,’ says the apostle Peter, ‘Be sober, … not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in … your ignorance: but like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living.’ I Peter 1:13–15, R.V.” Ibid., 460.
5 THE REWARD
- What is necessary to gain the reward? Joshua 24:15.
- If we follow God’s counsels, what are the promised results? Galatians 6:9.
Note: “If parents give their children the proper education, they themselves will be made happy by seeing the fruit of their careful training in the Christlike character of their children.” The Adventist Home, 533.
“With joy unutterable, parents see the crown, the robe, the harp, given to their children. The days of hope and fear are ended. The seed sown with tears and prayers may have seemed to be sown in vain, but their harvest is reaped with joy at last. Their children have been redeemed. Fathers, mothers, shall the voices of your children swell the song of gladness in that day?” Child Guidance, 569.
- What is the other solemn warning concerning the day of reckoning? Jeremiah 2:4, 5, 9.
Note: “ ‘Weighed in the balance, and found wanting’ [Daniel 5:27]. To many parents the Judge will say in that day, ‘You had My Word, plainly setting forth your duty. Why have you not obeyed its teachings? Knew ye not that it was the voice of God? Did I not bid you search the Scriptures, that you might not go astray? You have not only ruined your own souls, but by your pretensions to godliness you have misled many others. You have no part with Me. Depart; depart.’ ” Child Guidance, 569.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What dwelling will give the best place of safety to our flock?
2 From what influences should you separate?
3 What are the ABCs of God’s educational plan?
4 As reformers, what attitudes must your influence work to correct?
5 What is the reward ahead for you?
Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.