August 14, 2011 – August 20, 2011
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.
Study Help: The Adventist Home, 421–429, 506–520.
“Home should be made all that the word implies. It should be a little heaven upon earth, a place where the affections are cultivated instead of being studiously repressed.” The Adventist Home, 15.
1 A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN
- How can we have here on earth a little taste of heaven? Matthew 18:3; Colossians 3:16.
Note: “Family religion is a wonderful power. …
“Hearts that are filled with the love of Christ can never get very far apart. …
“Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony. Angels of God will be guests in the home.” The Adventist Home, 94.
- What will happen as we enter into an abiding experience with Jesus every day, and how can this be accomplished in our lives? Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:6.
Note: “Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 70.
“When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed.” Ibid., 73.
2 SHOWING AFFECTION
- Describe what we need to cultivate in our homes and in our churches. Romans 12:10; I John 4:12.
Note: “Home is to be the center of the purest and most elevated affection. Peace, harmony, affection, and happiness should be perseveringly cherished every day, until these precious things abide in the hearts of those who compose the family. The plant of love must be carefully nourished, else it will die. Every good principle must be cherished if we would have it thrive in the soul. That which Satan plants in the heart—envy, jealousy, evil surmising, evil speaking, impatience, prejudice, selfishness, covetousness, and vanity—must be uprooted. If these evil things are allowed to remain in the soul, they will bear fruit by which many shall be defiled. Oh, how many cultivate the poisonous plants that kill out the precious fruits of love and defile the soul!” The Adventist Home, 195, 196.
- What attitude must we have in order to have the kinds of relationships described? I Corinthians 13:1–8.
Note: “Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can be home missionaries in their families and neighborhoods. There are many ways in which church members may give the message to those around them. One of the most successful is by living helpful, unselfish Christian lives. Those who are fighting the battle of life at great odds may be refreshed and strengthened by little attentions which cost nothing. Kindly words simply spoken, little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation and doubt that gather over the soul. The true heart expression of Christlike sympathy, given in simplicity, has power to open the door of hearts that need the simple, delicate touch of the spirit of Christ.” The Adventist Home, 485.
“Some parents—and some teachers as well—seem to forget that they themselves were once children. They are dignified, cold, and unsympathetic. … Such discipline is not Christlike. Children thus trained fear their parents or teachers, but do not love them; they do not confide to them their childish experiences. Some of the most valuable qualities of mind and heart are chilled to death, as a tender plant before the wintry blast.
“Smile, parents; smile, teachers. If your heart is sad, let not your face reveal the fact.” Child Guidance, 147, 148.
3 WHAT SHOULD WE SPEAK?
- What kinds of words should we use with each other? Philippians 1:27; James 4:11; Ephesians 4:25, 29–32.
Note: “The voice is an entrusted talent, and it should be used to help and encourage and strengthen our fellow men. If parents will love God and keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, their language will not savor of sickly sentimentalism. It will be of a sound, pure, edifying character. Whether they are at home or abroad, their words will be well chosen. They will descend to no cheapness.
“Every word spoken by fathers and mothers has its influence over the children, for good or for evil.” The Adventist Home, 434.
- How should we speak? I Thessalonians 2:7; II Chronicles 10:7.
Note: “Religion is love, and a Christian home is one where love reigns and finds expression in words and acts of thoughtful kindness and gentle courtesy.” The Adventist Home, 94.
“Parents should keep the atmosphere of the home pure and fragrant with kind words, with tender sympathy and love; but at the same time they are to be firm and unyielding in principle. If you are firm with your children, they may think that you do not love them. This you may expect, but never manifest harshness.” Ibid., 434.
“We must subdue a hasty temper and control our words, and in this we shall gain great victories. Unless we control our words and temper, we are slaves to Satan. We are in subjection to him. He leads us captive. All jangling and unpleasant, impatient, fretful words are an offering presented to his satanic majesty. And it is a costly offering, more costly than any sacrifice we can make for God; for it destroys the peace and happiness of whole families, destroys health, and is eventually the cause of forfeiting an eternal life of happiness.” Ibid., 437.
- How should we respond when receiving correction? Proverbs 8:33; 19:20.
4 HELPERS IN THE HOME
- How does God want us to spend our time and energy? Colossians 3:23. What warnings are given against idleness? Ecclesiastes 10:18.
Note: “I have been shown that much sin has resulted from idleness. Active hands and minds do not find time to heed every temptation which the enemy suggests, but idle hands and brains are all ready for Satan to control. The mind, when not properly occupied, dwells upon improper things. Parents should teach their children that idleness is sin. …
“The minds of children are active, and if not occupied with that which is good and useful, they will inevitably turn to what is bad. While it is right and necessary for them to have recreation, they should be taught to work, to have regular hours for physical labour and also for reading and study. See that they have employment suited to their years and are supplied with useful and interesting books.” The Adventist Home, 284.
“Parents should by their example encourage the formation of habits of simplicity, and draw their children away from an artificial to a natural life.” Child Guidance, 139.
- What is the necessary principle we must keep in mind in choosing how we will spend our time? Ecclesiastes 11:9.
Note: “Educate men and women to bring up their children free from false, fashionable practices, to teach them to be useful. …
“There are plenty of necessary, useful things to do in our world that would make the pleasure-amusement exercise almost wholly unnecessary. Brain, bone, and muscle will acquire solidity and strength in using them to a purpose, doing good hard thinking, and in devising plans which shall train them [the youth] to develop powers of intellect and strength of the physical organs, which will be putting into practical use their God-given talents with which they may glorify God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 321.
“I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball; but this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone. I shrink always from the almost sure result which follows in the wake of these amusements. It leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of truth to souls that are perishing out of Christ.” Ibid., 322.
5 PREPARING FOR HEAVEN
- In order to prepare to dwell in that holy place called heaven, what must we do now? Genesis 35:2; Colossians 2:5.
Note: “We should teach our children lessons in simplicity and trust. We should teach them to love, and fear, and obey their Creator. In all the plans and purposes of life His glory should be held paramount; His love should be the mainspring of every action.” Child Guidance, 141.
- What are some of the strange gods that should be put away before we are able to meet our Lord? II Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 21:27.
Note: “There are amusements such as dancing, card playing, chess, checkers … which we cannot approve, because Heaven condemns them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 514.
“Children are not to be trained to be the devotees of society. They are not to be sacrificed to Molech, but they are to become members of the Lord’s family. … They are not to have their minds all engrossed in the fashions and practices of the world. They are not to educate their children to attend parties and concerts and dances, to have and attend feasts, because after this manner the Gentiles walk.” Child Guidance, 181.
“In the education of children and youth fairy tales, myths, and fictitious stories are now given a large place. … How can Christian parents permit their children to use books so filled with falsehood? …
“Never should books containing a perversion of truth be placed in the hands of children or youth.” The Adventist Home, 413.
“Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome.” Ibid., 500.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Can you now have a little bit of heaven? How?
2 How does showing affection help your spiritual development?
3 What words should be in your home?
4 How can habits of simplicity best function in the home?
5 From what must you cleanse your life in order to be prepared to live in heavenly places?
Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.