February 10, 2013 – February 16, 2013
“Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment: Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.” Psalm 104:1, 2.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 118–124; The Ministry of Healing, 274–276.
“Let your judgment be convinced that exercise, sunlight, and air are the blessings which Heaven has provided to make the sick well and to keep in health those who are not sick.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 535.
“The Lord has made every provision so that we may have a rich, abundant, joyful experience. … Life is associated with light, and if we have no light from the Sun of Righteousness, we can have no life in Him. But this light has been provided for every soul, and it is only as we withdraw from the light that darkness comes upon us. Jesus said, ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ (John 8:12). In the world about us there can be no life without light. Were the sun to withdraw his shining, all vegetation, all animal life, would have an end. This illustrates the fact that we cannot have spiritual life unless we place ourselves under the beams of the Sun of Righteousness. If we put a flowering plant in a dark room, it will soon wither and die; and so we may have some spiritual life, and yet lose it by dwelling in an atmosphere of doubt and gloom.” Sons and Daughters of God, 281.
“The Christian conflict is a battle and a march, calling for endurance. Difficult work has to be done, and all who enlist as soldiers in Christ’s army with these false ideas of pleasantness and ease, and then experience the trials, it often proves fatal to their Christianity. God does not present the reward to those whose whole life in this world has been one of self-indulgence and pleasure.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 28.
1 ON THE FOURTH DAY
- What was created on the first day of creation? Genesis 1:3.
- What was made on the fourth day? Genesis 1:16.
- How do we know that the light of the sun is necessary for optimum health? Genesis 1:18.
Note: “The sun is a God-given physician.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 25.
“The course we recommend will not deprive you of life or injure you. You will derive benefit from it. You need not be rash or reckless; commence moderately at first to have more air and exercise, and continue your reform until you become useful, a blessing to your families and to all around you. Let your judgment be convinced that exercise, sunlight, and air are the blessings which Heaven has provided to make the sick well and to keep in health those who are not sick. God does not deprive you of these free, Heaven-bestowed blessings, but you have punished yourselves by closing your doors against them. Properly used, these simple yet powerful agents will assist nature to overcome real difficulties, if such exist, and will give healthy tone to the mind and vigor to the body.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 535.
- Upon whom does God bestow His blessings? Matthew 5:45.
Note: “The One who gave His life that we should not perish is the divine Teacher, and He appeals to every blessing of the natural world, the showers that fall upon the earth, the dew, the glorious sunlight, given alike to thankful and unthankful. The bounties of God’s providence speak to every soul, confirming Christ’s testimony to the supreme goodness of His Father.” The General Conference Bulletin, October 1, 1899.
2 HEALING RAYS
- How does the Bible describe the light of the sun? Ecclesiastes 11:7. What blessing do we receive from the Sun of Righteousness? Malachi 4:2.
Note: “Blessed and beneficent are the rays of light from the Sun of Righteousness who is now pouring His enlightening, healing beams upon everyone who will open the windows of the soul heavenward.” The Upward Look, 257.
“Christ is the wellspring of life. That which many need is to have a clearer knowledge of Him; they need to be patiently and kindly, yet earnestly, taught how the whole being may be thrown open to the healing agencies of heaven. When the sunlight of God’s love illuminates the darkened chambers of the soul, restless weariness and dissatisfaction will cease, and satisfying joys will give vigor to the mind and health and energy to the body.” The Ministry of Healing, 247.
“By such [useful] employment [suited to his or her strength] and the free use of air and sunlight, many an emaciated invalid might recover health and strength.” Ibid., 246.
- What blessings does God want to give us by opening our eyes to the light of truth? Acts 26:18; Mark 4:26–28. What benefit do plants and human beings receive from the sun?
Note: “The pale and sickly grain-blade that has struggled up out of the cold of early spring puts out the natural and healthy deep green after enjoying for a few days the health-and-life-giving rays of the sun. Go out into the light and warmth of the glorious sun, … and share with vegetation its life-giving, healing power.” My Life Today, 138.
- Who and what are our sources of spiritual light? Psalm 27:1; Proverbs 6:23.
3 WARMTH AND BEAUTY
- What happens when we do not appreciate and walk in the spiritual light? John 12:35; I John 1:5.
- How can we use sunshine as a healing agent? How are we blessed as the “daystar” arises in our hearts (II Peter 1:19)? John 8:12; 17:13; 16:33.
Note: “Invalids too often deprive themselves of sunlight. This is one of nature’s most healing agents. It is a very simple, therefore not a fashionable remedy, to enjoy the rays of God’s sunlight and beautify our homes with its presence. … Our own folly has led us to deprive ourselves of things that are precious, of blessings which God has provided and which, if properly used, are of inestimable value for the recovery of health. If you would have your homes sweet and inviting, make them bright with air and sunshine. Remove your heavy curtains, open the windows, throw back the blinds, and enjoy the rich sunlight, even if it be at the expense of the colors of your carpets. The precious sunlight may fade your carpets, but it will give a healthful color to the cheeks of your children. If you have God’s presence and possess earnest, loving hearts, a humble home made bright with air and sunlight, and cheerful with the welcome of unselfish hospitality, will be to your family, and to the weary traveler, a heaven below.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 527.
- If we have accepted Christ, the light of the world, how are we to reflect light upon others? Psalm 42:11; Matthew 5:16.
Note: “God’s people have many lessons to learn. They will have perfect peace if they will keep the mind stayed on Him who is too wise to err and too good to do them harm. They are to catch the reflection of the smile of God, and reflect it to others. They are to see how much sunshine they can bring into the lives of those around them. They are to keep near to Christ, so close that they sit together with Him as His little children, in sweet, sacred unity. They are never to forget that as they receive the affection and love of God, they are under the most solemn obligation to impart it to others. Thus they may exert an influence of rejoicing, which blesses all who come within its reach, irradiating their pathway.” Medical Ministry, 45.
4 WORDS TO THE WISE
- What lesson should all men and women learn from the effect of the sun upon the grass and the flowers? James 1:10, 11. In what sense is a true Christian compared to a palm tree in the desert? Psalm 92:12; John 6:35; 7:37.
Note: “See the weary traveler toiling over the hot sand of the desert, with no shelter to protect him from the rays of the tropical sun. His water supply fails, and he has nothing with which to slake his burning thirst. His tongue becomes swollen; he staggers like a drunken man. Visions of home and friends pass before his mind as he believes himself ready to perish. Suddenly he sees in the distance, rising out of the dreary sandy waste, a palm tree, green and flourishing. Hope quickens his pulses; he presses on, knowing that that which gives vigor and freshness to the palm tree will cool his fevered blood and give him renewed life.
“As is the palm tree in the desert—a guide and consolation to the fainting traveler—so the Christian is to be in the world. He is to guide weary souls, full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to the living water. He is to point his fellow men to Him who gives to all the invitation, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink’ (John 7:37).” In Heavenly Places, 240.
- What kind of spiritual clothing do we need in order to cross the “deserts” of this world? Revelation 3:18; 19:8; Zechariah 3:3, 4.
Note: “The people must not be left to stumble their way along in darkness, not knowing what is before them, and unprepared for the great issues that are coming. There is a work to be done for this time in fitting a people to stand in the day of trouble, and all must act their part in this work. They must be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and be so fortified by the truth that the delusions of Satan shall not be accepted by them as genuine manifestations of the power of God.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 389.
- For what purpose has God placed us in this world? Philippians 2:15, 16; I Peter 2:9.
5 FREE TO ALL
- What assurance makes life in this world worth living? Psalm 27:1; Romans 8:31.
Note: “I [Ellen White] hope that you will keep under the direct rays of the Sun of Righteousness, that the bright beams from the face of Jesus Christ may shine with brightness upon your heart, and that you may reflect their bright rays to others.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 710.
- What is the most precious heavenly gift placed within our reach, and on what condition is it offered to us? Isaiah 55:1, 7; Luke 14:33.
Note: “Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot grasp it, power cannot command it; but to all who will accept it, God’s glorious grace is freely given. But men may feel their need, and, renouncing all self-dependence, accept salvation as a gift. Those who enter heaven will not scale its walls by their own righteousness, nor will its gates be opened to them for costly offerings of gold or silver, but they will gain an entrance to the many mansions of the Father’s house through the merits of the cross of Christ.” God’s Amazing Grace, 179.
- What kind of sunshine should we have in our home? Ephesians 4:32.
Note: “Home should be a place where cheerfulness, courtesy, and love abide; and where these graces dwell, there will abide happiness and peace. Troubles may invade, but these are the lot of humanity. Let patience, gratitude, and love keep sunshine in the heart, though the day may be ever so cloudy. In such homes angels of God abide.” The Ministry of Healing, 393.
1 Why does God give all people sunshine?
2 Sunshine kills bacteria. What sin will the light from the Son of God remove from our life?
3 Am I walking in all the light that has been revealed to me from God?
4 Can I get too much from the Son of light?
5 Have I really received the gift of Christ, and am I truly thankful?
Great Light Shines
“It is not for lack of knowledge that God’s people are now perishing. … Light, precious light, shines upon God’s people; but it will not save them unless they consent to be saved by it, fully live up to it, and transmit it to others in darkness. God calls upon His people to act. It is an individual work of confessing and forsaking sins and returning unto the Lord that is needed. One cannot do this work for another. Religious knowledge has accumulated, and this has increased corresponding obligations. Great light has been shining upon the church, and by it they are condemned because they refuse to walk in it. If they were blind they would be without sin. But they have seen light and have heard much truth, yet are not wise and holy. Many have for years made no advancement in knowledge and true holiness. They are spiritual dwarfs. Instead of going forward to perfection, they are going back to the darkness and bondage of Egypt. Their minds are not exercised unto godliness and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 123, 124.
Heaven’s Interest in Our Welfare
“How strongly and brightly shines the mercy and lovingkindness of God in His dealings toward His heritage. … All heaven has the deepest interest in our welfare, that Satan shall not control us and conform us to his character. ‘For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall’ (Malachi 4:1, 2).” This Day with God, 123.
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.