December 14, 2008 – December 20, 2008
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:5.
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 303–314.
“The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.” (Ephesians 3:10.) The Acts of the Apostles, 9.
1 What is the only way to control our temper? James 4:7, 8.
Note: “In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the word? ‘Resist the devil,’ by firm reliance upon God, ‘and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ [James 4:7, 8.] ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ [Isaiah 27:5.] Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse—this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, ‘Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evilspeaking out of my heart. Give me Thy meekness, Thy lowliness, Thy long-suffering, and Thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home and to represent the character of Christ to others.’ ” The Adventist Home, 214, 215.
2 How can we subdue our sinful inclinations? John 15:5; Philippians 4:13.
3 Where do evil thoughts originate? Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19, 20.
Note: “As a man thinketh, so is he. From within, out of the heart, proceed evil thoughts inspired by Satan. He begins to quibble at technicalities and manners. The spirit of Satan links him up with the enemy to bear a word of criticism on less important themes. The truth becomes of less and still less value to him. He becomes an accuser of his brethren, etc., and changes leaders. The outside world has a greater weight with him than has the flood of light that God has poured in upon the world in messages that he has given, and which he once rejoiced in.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 408, 409.
4 What things should be kept in mind if we will ever see God? Matthew 5:8; Psalms 15:1–5; 24:3, 4.
Note: “Charity ‘doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.’ [I Corinthians 13:5.] Christ-like love places the most favorable construction on the motives and acts of others. It does not needlessly expose their faults; it does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports, but seeks rather to bring to mind the good qualities of others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 319.
“Into the city of God there will enter nothing that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a growing distaste for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and refinement of thought and manner.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 24, 25.
5 How can we attain to purity in heart? Psalm 119:9–11.
Note: “But the words of Jesus, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart,’ [Matthew 5:8.] have a deeper meaning—not merely pure in the sense in which the world understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 25.
6 According to Isaiah, who will see the King in His beauty? Isaiah 33:14–17.
Note: “The darkest hour of the church’s struggle with the powers of evil is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear; for ‘when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,’ God will be to His church ‘a refuge from the storm.’ Isaiah 25:4.
“In that day only the righteous are promised deliverance.” Prophets and Kings, 725.
7 What example must parents set so that their children may not be lost? Psalm 101:1–3.
Note: “From their infancy the youth need to have a firm barrier built up between them and the world, that its corrupting influence may not affect them. Parents must exercise unceasing watchfulness, that their children be not lost to God. The vows of David, recorded in the 101st psalm, should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home. …
“The youth should not be left to learn good and evil indiscriminately, the parents thinking that at some future time the good will predominate and the evil lose its influence. The evil will increase faster than the good. It is possible that the evil which children learn may be eradicated after many years, but who would trust to this? Whatever else they neglect, parents should never leave their children free to wander in the paths of sin.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 119.
8 Instead of fig leaves, what kind of dress should we seek to obtain? Genesis 3:7, 21; Isaiah 61:10.
Note: “Mothers, as well as youth and children, need to pray, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.’ [Psalm 51:10.] This purity of heart and loveliness of spirit are more precious than gold, both for time and for eternity. Only the pure in heart shall see God.” Child Guidance, 418.
9 What is promised to Christ’s faithful followers? Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 26:20, 21.
Note: “When tempted to sin, let us remember that Jesus is pleading for us in the heavenly sanctuary. When we put away our sins and come to him in faith, he takes our names on his lips and presents them to his Father, saying, ‘I have graven them upon the palms of my hands; [Isaiah 49:10.] I know them by name.’ And the command goes forth to the angels to protect them. Then in the day of fierce trial he will say, ‘Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ [Isaiah 26:20.] What are the chambers in which they are to hide?—They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Everyone must stand the test for himself.” The Review and Herald, November 19, 1908.
10 What promise belongs to the overcomers in the Laodicean period? Revelation 3:21. In what sense is this also an appeal to us?
Note: “The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he who has drunk most deeply of His spirit of self-sacrificing love,—love that ‘vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ [I Corinthians 13:4, 5],—love that moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labor and sacrifice even unto death, for the saving of humanity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 543.
“Are you ready to make the surrender now? You are to put away your sin right now when you see it, but do not make leeway [that] you are going to overcome by degrees; you are going to try little by little to give up sin. Now, while it is called today, heed the invitation and harden not your hearts.
“Oh my soul, why not leave the cursed thing today? Sin crucified my Lord. Why not turn from it with loathing? Why not love the things that Christ loved, and hate the things that Christ hated? He has made provision ample enough for you that you can through Him be more—yea, more—than overcomers. Then what do you want? Do you want a second crucifixion of Christ? You cannot have that. You must look to Calvary. You must take the blood by faith and apply it. You must wash in it. You must be cleansed by the already shed blood of Jesus Christ. It can cleanse you to the utmost.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 188.
11 What will be avoided by those who possess true love? I Corinthians 13:6.
Note: “ ‘Rejoiceth not in iniquity.’ [I Corinthians 13:6.] Mark it. The apostle meant where there is a cultivation of genuine love for precious souls, it will be exhibited for those most in need of that patience which suffereth long and is kind, and will not be ready to magnify a small indiscretion or direct wrong into large unpardonable offenses, and will not make capital of others’ misdoings.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 279.
12 What spirit should control those who sit in church administrative meetings? I Corinthians 13:5–7.
Note: “Our every thought, word, and action should be subject to the will of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly and impart his wisdom, his grace, and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to his Spirit and contrary to his work? Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in our midst. Then an elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God, will pervade the assembly. There will be manifested that wisdom which is from above, that is first pure, then peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits, which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions there will be that charity that ‘seeketh not her own;’ which is ‘not easily provoked,’ that ‘thinketh no evil,’ that ‘rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;’ that ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ [I Corinthians 13:5–7.] Self must be hid in Jesus, then the judgment will not be one-sided and warped, so that there can be no dispassionate and righteous decisions.” Gospel Workers (1892), 231.
“‘here is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.’ I John 4:18.
“This is an important statement; for there are many who desire to love and serve God, and yet when affliction comes upon them, they do not discern the love of God in it, but the hand of the enemy. They mourn and murmur and complain; but this is not the fruit of love to God in the soul. If we have perfect love, we shall know that God is not seeking to injure us, but that in the midst of trials, and griefs, and pains, He is seeking to make us perfect, and to test the quality of our faith. When we cease to worry about the future, and begin to believe that God loves us, and means to do us good, we shall trust Him as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, and our will will be swallowed up in the will of God.
“Through an abiding Christ you will become Christlike in character. The Lord desires you to stand by His side, as a kind, patient, humble son of God. The Lord designs that the laborers in His service shall represent His love.” Sons and Daughters of God, 193.
“The theme of redemption is one that the angels desire to look into; it will be the science and the song of the redeemed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. Is it not worthy of careful thought and study now? The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for the most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. As we thus contemplate heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger, and our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and a daily, living experience in His power to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.
“As we meditate upon the perfections of the Saviour, we shall desire to be wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to become like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of Him to others and represent Him to the world.” Steps to Christ, 88, 89.
“Paul seeks to impress upon our minds the fact that the foundation of all acceptable service to God, as well as the very crown of the Christian graces, is love; and that only in the soul where love reigns will the peace of God abide.” The Sanctified Life, 87.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission