Bible Study Guides – Overcoming Character Flaws

May 23 – 29, 2021

Key Text

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Study Help: Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 516–530; The Ministry of Healing, 483–496.


“Let no man present the idea that man has little or nothing to do in the great work of overcoming; for God does nothing for man without his cooperation.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 381.



1.a. Explain the cause and effect of harsh, impatient speech. Romans 6:16; Proverbs 15:1, last part; 28, last part.

Note: “What harm is wrought in the family circle by the utterance of impatient words; for the impatient utterance of one leads another to retort in the same spirit and manner. Then come words of retaliation, words of self-justification, and it is by such words that a heavy, galling yoke is manufactured for your neck; for all these bitter words will come back in a baleful harvest to your soul.” The Review and Herald, May 19, 1891.

“Among the members of many families there is practiced the habit of saying loose, careless things; and the habit of tantalizing, of speaking harsh words, becomes stronger and stronger as it is indulged, and thus many objectionable words are spoken that are after Satan’s order and not after the order of God. … Burning words of passion should never be spoken, for in the sight of God and holy angels they are a species of swearing.” The Adventist Home, 439.

 1.b.      Under what circumstances is anger justifiable? Exodus 32:19, 20; Luke 19:45, 46. In contrast, what should we bear in mind when tempted to retaliate against our enemies in our own defense? Proverbs 15:1, first part; Ecclesiastes 7:9.

Note: “It is true there is an indignation that is justifiable, even in the followers of Christ. When they see that God is dishonored, and His service brought into disrepute, when they see the innocent oppressed, a righteous indignation stirs the soul. Such anger, born of sensitive morals, is not a sin. But those who at any supposed provocation feel at liberty to indulge anger or resentment are opening the heart to Satan. Bitterness and animosity must be banished from the soul if we would be in harmony with heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 310.

“Far better would it be for us to suffer under false accusation than to inflict upon ourselves the torture of retaliation upon our enemies. The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and can bring only evil to him who cherishes it. Lowliness of heart, that meekness which is the fruit of abiding in Christ, is the true secret of blessing.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 17.



2.a. How has the sin of angry resentment continually been affecting the life and countenance of Satan? Isaiah 14:12–20. What warning can we derive from this? Hebrews 12:15.

Note: “I was shown Satan as he once was, a happy, exalted angel. Then I was shown him as he now is. He still bears a kingly form. His features are still noble, for he is an angel fallen. But the expression of his countenance is full of anxiety, care, unhappiness, malice, hate, mischief, deceit, and every evil. … I saw that he had so long bent himself to evil that every good quality was debased, and every evil trait was developed.” Early Writings, 152.

2.b. How can we effectively resist angry feelings? Ephesians 4:31; Proverbs 19:11; Ecclesiastes 11:10.

Note: “There is only one remedy—positive self-control under all circumstances. The effort to get into a favorable place, where self will not be annoyed, may succeed for a time; but Satan knows where to find these poor souls, and will assail them in their weak points again and again. They will be continually troubled so long as they think so much of self. … But there is hope for them. Let this life, so stormy with conflicts and worries, be brought into connection with Christ, and then self will no longer clamor for the supremacy. … They should humble themselves, saying frankly, ‘I have done wrong. Will you forgive me? For God has said we must not let the sun go down upon our wrath.’ This is the only safe path toward overcoming. Many … nurse their wrath, and are filled with revengeful, hateful feelings. … Resist these wrong feelings, and you will experience a great change in your association with your fellowmen.” Sons and Daughters of God, 142.



3.a. In what various ways can the sixth commandment be violated? Exodus 20:13; 1 John 3:15.

Note: “All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for ‘whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer’ (1 John 3:15) … are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.

3.b. Why did the world hate Christ? John 7:7; 3:19. What can be learned from this?

Note: “Christ took humanity and bore the hatred of the world that He might show men and women that they could live without sin, that their words, their actions, their spirit, might be sanctified to God. We can be perfect Christians if we will manifest this power in our lives. When the light of heaven rests upon us continually, we shall represent Christ. It was the righteousness revealed in His life that distinguished Christ from the world and called forth its hatred.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 527, 528.

“Christ declared that those who manifest the same attributes would be likewise hated. As we near the end of time this hatred for the followers of Christ will be more and more manifest.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 527.



 4.a. Describe the results of faith and how it may be cultivated. 1 John 5:4; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 10:17. What counsel is given to those struggling with their faith?

Note: “The word of the Lord, spoken through His servants, is received by many with questionings and fears. And many will defer their obedience to the warning and reproofs given, waiting till every shadow of uncertainty is removed from their minds. The unbelief that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to the evidence that God is pleased to give. He requires of His people faith that rests upon the weight of evidence, not upon perfect knowledge. Those followers of Christ who accept the light that God sends them must obey the voice of God speaking to them when there are many other voices crying out against it.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 258.

 4.b. Contrast genuine faith with presumption. Hebrews 11:1; Ephesians 2:8; Matthew 4:5–7.

Note: “Faith is in no sense allied to presumption. Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption. For presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.” The Desire of Ages, 126.



5.a. How is “a noble, all-round character” formed? 1 Peter 2:2.

Note: “Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 331.

“All these successive steps are not to be kept before the mind’s eye, and counted as you start; but fixing the eye upon Jesus, with an eye single to the glory of God, you will make advancement.” My Life Today, 95.

5.b.      To whom should we carry all of our doubts and trials? Psalm 62:8.

Note: “We are not to talk our doubts and trials, because they grow bigger every time we talk them. Every time we talk them, Satan has gained the victory; but when we say, ‘I will commit the keeping of my soul unto Him, as unto a faithful witness,’ then we testify that we have given ourselves to Jesus Christ without any reservation, and then God gives us light and we rejoice in Him.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 578, 579.



1    Although anger is normally felt by the carnal heart to be perfectly justifiable, when only is it really valid in the sight of God?

2    What are the effects of anger and how can it be avoided?

3    Name some ways in which the sixth commandment is often violated.

4    How can we discern between faith and presumption?

5    What are some essentials in building a Christlike character?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Emotions

May 16 – 22, 2021

Key Text

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

Study Help: Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 755–762; The Review and Herald, June 2, 1910.


“If you feel yourself to be the greatest sinner, Christ is just what you need, the greatest Saviour.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 452.



1.a. What seven things are especially offensive to God? Proverbs 6:16–19.

Note: “God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His estimation, as well as in that of man; but however trifling this or that wrong act may seem in the eyes of men, no sin is small in the sight of God. Man’s judgment is partial, imperfect; but God estimates all things as they really are. The drunkard is despised and is told that his sin will exclude him from heaven; while pride, selfishness, and covetousness too often go unrebuked. But these are sins that are especially offensive to God; for they are contrary to the benevolence of His character, to that unselfish love which is the very atmosphere of the unfallen universe. He who falls into some of the grosser sins may feel a sense of his shame and poverty and his need of the grace of Christ; but pride feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give.” Steps to Christ, 30.

1.b. What is promised to those who confess their sins? Proverbs 14:16; 1 John 1:9.

Note: “No one is ever made better by denunciation and recrimination. To tell a tempted soul of his guilt in no way inspires him with a determination to do better. Point the erring, discouraged one to Him who is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. Show him what he may become. Tell him that there is in him nothing that recommends him to God, but that Christ died for him that he might be accepted in the Beloved. Inspire him with hope, showing him that in Christ’s strength he can do better. Hold up before him the possibilities that are his. Point him to the heights to which he may attain. Help him to take hold upon the mercy of the Lord, to trust in His forgiving power. Jesus is waiting to clasp him by the hand, waiting to give him power to live a noble, virtuous life.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 453.



2.a. Contrast the effects of emotions that tend to break down the life forces with those that build them up. Proverbs 17:22.

Note: “Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life-forces and to invite decay and death. … Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life.” The Ministry of Healing, 241.

“Sadness deadens the circulation in the blood vessels and nerves and also retards the action of the liver. It hinders the process of digestion and of nutrition, and has a tendency to dry up the marrow [interior substance] of the whole system.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 458.

 2.b. How are we encouraged to obtain peace? Isaiah 27:5; 26:3.

Note: “We are not to let the future, with its hard problems, its unsatisfying prospects, make our hearts faint, our knees tremble, our hands hang down. [Isaiah 27:5 quoted.] Those who surrender their lives to His guidance and to His service will never be placed in a position for which He has not made provision. Whatever our situation, if we are doers of His word, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexity, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend.” The Ministry of Healing, 248, 249.



3.a.  What is the effect of anxiety on the mind? Proverbs 12:25. What is the recommended remedy? Philippians 4:6, 7.

Note: “We are in a world of suffering. Difficulty, trial, and sorrow await us all along the way to the heavenly home. But there are many who make life’s burdens doubly heavy by continually anticipating trouble. If they meet with adversity or disappointment, they think that everything is going to ruin, that theirs is the hardest lot of all, that they are surely coming to want. Thus they bring wretchedness upon themselves and cast a shadow upon all around them. Life itself becomes a burden to them. But it need not be thus. It will cost a determined effort to change the current of their thought. But the change can be made. Their happiness, both for this life and for the life to come, depends upon their fixing their minds upon cheerful things. Let them look away from the dark picture, which is imaginary, to the benefits which God has strewn in their pathway, and beyond these to the unseen and eternal.” The Ministry of Healing, 247, 248.

3.b. Compare and contrast the worst sources of comfort with the best ones. Job 16:2–4; Psalms 13:5, 6; 21:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.

Note: “Those who have borne the greatest sorrows are frequently the ones who carry the greatest comfort to others, bringing sunshine wherever they go. Such ones have been chastened and sweetened by their afflictions; they did not lose confidence in God when trouble assailed them, but clung closer to His protecting love. Such ones are a living proof of the tender care of God, who makes the darkness as well as the light, and chastens us for our good. Christ is the light of the world; in Him is no darkness. Precious light! Let us live in that light! Bid adieu to sadness and repining. Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 274.



4.a.  Discuss the human experience of separation from God and how Christ experienced this in our behalf in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke 22:44.

Note: “It was the anguish of separation from His Father’s favor that made Christ’s sufferings so acute. … His terrible anguish, caused by the thought that in this hour of need God had forsaken Him, portrays the anguish that the sinner will feel when, too late, he realizes that God’s Spirit is withdrawn from him.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 464, 465.

4.b. How can we obtain healing from the anxiety so often associated with physical illness? Psalms 33:18, 22; 34:17–22.

Note: “When wrongs have been righted, we may present the needs of the sick to the Lord in calm faith, as His Spirit may indicate. He knows each individual by name, and cares for each as if there were not another upon the earth for whom He gave His beloved Son. Because God’s love is so great and so unfailing, the sick should be encouraged to trust in Him and be cheerful. To be anxious about themselves tends to cause weakness and disease. If they will rise above depression and gloom, their prospect of recovery will be better.” The Ministry of Healing, 229.



5.a. What is to be our view of the near and distant future? Matthew 6:25–33.

Note: “Though their present needs are supplied, many are unwilling to trust God for the future, and they are in constant anxiety lest poverty shall come upon them, and their children shall be left to suffer. Some are always anticipating evil or magnifying the difficulties that really exist, so that their eyes are blinded to the many blessings which demand their gratitude. The obstacles they encounter, instead of leading them to seek help from God, the only Source of strength, separate them from Him, because they awaken unrest and repining.

“Do we well to be thus unbelieving? Why should we be ungrateful and distrustful? Jesus is our friend; all heaven is interested in our welfare; and our anxiety and fear grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We should not indulge in a solicitude that only frets and wears us, but does not help us to bear trials. No place should be given to that distrust of God which leads us to make a preparation against future want the chief pursuit of life, as though our happiness consisted in these earthly things.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293, 294.

 5.b. What is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials? Matthew 6:34.

Note: “The faithful discharge of today’s duties is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials. Do not gather together all tomorrow’s liabilities and cares and add them to the burden of today.” The Ministry of Healing, 481.

“One day alone is ours, and during this day we are to live for God. For this one day we are to place in the hand of Christ, in solemn service, all our purposes and plans, casting all our care upon Him, for He careth for us.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 101.

“Let us not make ourselves miserable over tomorrow’s burdens. Bravely and cheerfully carry the burdens of today. Today’s trust and faith we must have. But we are not asked to live more than a day at a time. He who gives strength for today will give strength for tomorrow.” In Heavenly Places, 269.



1    What things are especially offensive to God? What is the remedy?

2    How do negative feelings and emotions break down the life forces?

3    How is life made more difficult by the choices we make? Who are often the best ones to comfort others?

4    Discuss the common situations which trigger human anguish and how Christ experienced this in our behalf in Gethsemane. How are we to obtain relief from such anguish?

5    How ought we to view the future, and what is the best preparation for tomorrow?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Mental and Physical Health

May 9 – 15, 2021

Key Text

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2).

 Study Help: The Sanctified Life, 18–33; Education, 195–206.


“Between the mind and the body there is a mysterious and wonderful relation. They react upon each other.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 485.



1.a. In the creation, what requirements were placed upon man that were not required of other creatures? Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:16, 17.

Note: “The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded. But while everything in nature is governed by natural laws, man alone, of all that inhabits the earth, is amenable to moral law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 52.

1.b.      How are Christians exhorted to strive for sanctification, both mental and physical? Romans 12:1; Philippians 2:12, last part, 13.

Note: “The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character.” The Review and Herald, January 25, 1881.

“[It presents] a lesson for all, but especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God, and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life. In the experience of Daniel and his companions we have an instance of the triumph of principle over temptation to indulge the appetite. It shows us that through religious principle young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh, and remain true to God’s requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.” Ibid.

“The body is the only medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character.” The Ministry of Healing, 130.



2.a. How is mental effort affected by good physical health? 3 John 2; 1 Corinthians 9:27.

Note: “We should seek to preserve the full vigor of all our powers for the accomplishment of the work before us. Whatever detracts from physical vigor weakens mental effort. Hence, every practice unfavorable to the health of the body should be resolutely shunned. …

“We cannot maintain consecration to God and yet injure our health by the willful indulgence of a wrong habit. Self-denial is one of the conditions, not only of admission into the service of Christ, but of continuance therein. Christ Himself declared, in unmistakable language, the conditions of discipleship: ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ (Matthew 16:24).

“Yet, how many who call themselves Christians are unwilling to exercise self-denial, even for Christ’s sake. How often the love for some pernicious indulgence is stronger than the desire for a sound mind in a sound body. Precious hours of probation are spent, God-given means squandered, to please the eye or to gratify the appetite. Custom holds thousands in bondage to the earthly and sensual. Many are willing captives; they desire no better portion.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 380, 381.

2.b.      What is the effect of fleshly lusts on the mind? 1 Peter 2:11.

Note: “Study is not the principal cause of breakdown of mental powers. The main cause is improper diet, irregular meals, a lack of physical exercise, and careless inattention in other respects to the laws of health. When we do all that we can to preserve the health, then we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 299.

“By allowing ourselves to form wrong habits, by keeping late hours, by gratifying appetite at the expense of health, we lay the foundation for feebleness. By neglecting physical exercise, by overworking mind or body, we unbalance the nervous system.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 346.



3.a. What effects do temperance and discipline have on the mind? 1 Corinthians 9:25, 27.

Note: “True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“There are ample reasons why there are so many nervous women in the world, complaining of the dyspepsia, with its train of evils. The cause has been followed by the effect. It is impossible for intemperate persons to be patient. They must first reform bad habits, learn to live healthfully, and then it will not be difficult for them to be patient. Many do not seem to understand the relation the mind sustains to the body. If the system is deranged by improper food, the brain and nerves are affected, and slight things annoy those who are thus afflicted. Little difficulties are to them troubles mountain high.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 434.

3.b.      How can a person’s dietary practices affect and influence the faith of others? Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:13; Daniel chapter 1.

Note: “We are composed of what we eat, and eating much flesh will diminish intellectual activity. Students would accomplish much more in their studies if they never tasted meat. When the animal part of the human agent is strengthened by meat eating, the intellectual powers diminish proportionately. A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded.” Medical Ministry, 277, 278.

“I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery, affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. These changes should be made cautiously, and the subject should be treated in a manner not calculated to disgust and prejudice those whom we would teach and help.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 328.



4.a. What forces does happiness release? Proverbs 15:15, last part; 16:24, first part.

 Note: “The pleasure of doing good animates the mind and vibrates through the whole body. While the faces of benevolent men are lighted up with cheerfulness, and their countenances express the moral elevation of the mind, those of selfish, stingy men are dejected, cast down, and gloomy. Their moral defects are seen in their countenances.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 534.

4.b. What are the best practices/habits for diseased bodies and minds? Proverbs 3:1–8.

Note: “The consciousness of rightdoing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds. The special blessing of God resting upon the receiver is health and strength. A person whose mind is quiet and satisfied in God is in the pathway to health.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 502.



5.a.       What effect will following Jesus have on the mind? Malachi 4:2; John 14:27.

 Note: “When the gospel is received in its purity and power, it is a cure for the maladies that originated in sin. … Not all that this world bestows can heal a broken heart, or impart peace of mind, or remove care, or banish disease. Fame, genius, talent—all are powerless to gladden the sorrowful heart or to restore the wasted life. The life of God in the soul is man’s only hope.” The Ministry of Healing, 115.

5.b.      How are reason and grace bound together? Romans 6:1,2; Isaiah 1:18, 19.

Note: “The body is a most important medium through which the mind and the soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here often means the surrender of the whole being to evil. The tendencies of the physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. The body is to be brought into subjection to the higher powers of the being. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in the life.” Prophets and Kings, 488, 489.



1    Discuss co-dependence of the physical and mental powers.

2    How does temperance relate to physical and mental strength?

3    How does what a person eats affect his intellect?

4    What is the best medicine for sick bodies and minds?

5    What is the cure for spiritual disease originating from the commission of sin? How does this affect spiritual health?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Love and Self-respect

May 2 – 8, 2021

Key Text

“We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

 Study Help: The Adventist Home, 50–54; Testimonies, vol. 2, 200–215.


“The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. Only in the heart where Jesus reigns is it found. … In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the ruling principle of action.” The Acts of the Apostles, 551.



1.a. What is love? 1 John 4:16.

Note: “Love is power. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it. The power of wealth has a tendency to corrupt and destroy; the power of force is strong to do hurt; but the excellence and value of pure love consist in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing else than good. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God regards more with how much love one worketh than the amount he doeth. Love is of God. The unconverted heart cannot originate nor produce this plant of heavenly growth, which lives and flourishes only where Christ reigns.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 135.

1.b.      What does true love lead one to do? Romans 13:10; John 15:9–14.

Note: “Christ’s love is deep and earnest, flowing like an irrepressible stream to all who will accept it. There is no selfishness in His love. If this heaven-born love is an abiding principle in the heart, it will make itself known, not only to those we hold most dear in sacred relationship, but to all with whom we come in contact. It will lead us to bestow little acts of attention, to make concessions, to perform deeds of kindness, to speak tender, true, encouraging words. It will lead us to sympathize with those whose hearts hunger for sympathy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1140.

“Love is a plant of heavenly origin. It is not unreasonable; it is not blind. It is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol.” The Review and Herald, September 25, 1888.



2.a. Why was marriage largely associated with sin in Noah’s day? Luke 17:26, 27.

Note: “There is in itself no sin in eating and drinking, or in marrying and giving in marriage. It was lawful to marry in the time of Noah, and it is lawful to marry now, if that which is lawful is properly treated, and not carried to sinful excess. …

“In Noah’s day it was the inordinate, excessive love of that which in itself was lawful, when properly used, that made marriage sinful before God. There are many who are losing their souls in this age of the world, by becoming absorbed in the thoughts of marriage, and in the marriage relation itself. …

“God has placed men in the world, and it is their privilege to eat, to drink, to trade, to marry, and to be given in marriage; but it is safe to do these things only in the fear of God. We should live in this world with reference to the eternal world.” The Review and Herald, September 25, 1888.

2.b.      What parallel of marriage does Scripture give in illustrating love? Ephesians 5:25, 26.

Note: “In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown. Modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, and religion will characterize every step toward an alliance in marriage.” The Review and Herald, September 25, 1888.



3.a. How is genuine love demonstrated? 1 John 3:16–18.

Note: “The proof of our love is given in a Christlike spirit, a willingness to impart the good things God has given us, a readiness to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice in order to help advance the cause of God and suffering humanity. Never should we pass by the object that calls for our liberality. We reveal that we have passed from death unto life when we act as faithful stewards of God’s grace. God has given us His goods; He has given us His pledged word that if we are faithful in our stewardship, we shall lay up in heaven treasures that are imperishable.” The Review and Herald, May 15, 1900.

3.b.      Give an example of pure, sanctified love. John 12:3; Luke 7:40–47.

Note: “Talk, pharisaism, and self-praise are abundant; but these will never win souls to Christ. Pure, sanctified love, such love as was expressed in Christ’s lifework, is as a sacred perfume. Like Mary’s broken box of ointment, it fills the whole house with fragrance. Eloquence, knowledge of truth, rare talents, mingled with love, are all precious endowments. But ability alone, the choicest talents alone, cannot take the place of love.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 84.



4.a. In what sense are the servants of God encouraged to be wise? Proverbs 9:12, first part. How does home ownership relate to self-respect?

Note: “The sense of being owners of their own homes would inspire them [the poorer classes] with a strong desire for improvement. They would soon acquire skill in planning and devising for themselves; their children would be educated to habits of industry and economy, and the intellect would be greatly strengthened. They would feel that they are men, not slaves, and would be able to regain to a great degree their lost self-respect and moral independence.” The Adventist Home, 373.

4.b.      Describe the contrast between self-support and dependence upon charity and the government. Proverbs 10:16; 21:25.

Note: “Those who are endeavoring to reform should be provided with employment. None who are able to labor should be taught to expect food and clothing and shelter free of cost. For their own sake, as well as for the sake of others, some way should be devised whereby they may return an equivalent for what they receive. Encourage every effort toward self-support. This will strengthen self-respect and a noble independence. And occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation.” The Ministry of Healing, 177.

“Many who are qualified to do excellent work accomplish little because they attempt little. Thousands pass through life as if they had no great object for which to live, no high standard to reach. One reason for this is the low estimate which they place upon themselves. Christ paid an infinite price for us, and according to the price paid He desires us to value ourselves.” Ibid., 498.



5.a  What does God do when man fully humbles himself? James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6, 7.

Note: “It should not be difficult to remember that the Lord desires you to lay your troubles and perplexities at His feet, and leave them there. Go to Him, saying, ‘Lord, my burdens are too heavy for me to carry. Wilt Thou bear them for me?’ And He will answer: ‘I will take them. “With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.” I will take your sins, and will give you peace. Banish no longer your self-respect; for I have bought you with the price of My own blood. You are Mine. Your weakened will I will strengthen. Your remorse for sin I will remove.’ ”  Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 519, 520.

“Let us, under all circumstances, preserve our confidence in Christ. He is to be everything to us—the first, the last, the best in everything. Then let us educate our tongues to speak forth His praise, not only when we feel gladness and joy, but at all times. …

“Let us not talk of the great power of Satan, but of the great power of God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 328.

5.b.      How can we have confidence toward God? Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:21.

Note: “It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience, and before men and angels. … It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame and remorse. [Romans 8:1 quoted.] While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part.” The Review and Herald, March 27, 1888.



1    Describe the difference between love and passion. Define true love.

2    What is pure, holy love? Contrast God’s ideal for marriage with the concept prevalent in the days of Noah.

3    How can love be proven?

4    What are some ways to gain self-respect?

5    How can self-respect be maintained?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Developing the Mind

Let This Mind Be in You

April 25 – May 1, 2021

Key Text

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Study Help: Education, 13–19; Our High Calling, 119.


“To deal with minds is the nicest work in which men ever engaged.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 269.



1.a. What is the “science of Christianity?” Joel 2:1, first part.

 Note: “No other science is equal to that which develops in the life of the student the character of God. Those who become followers of Christ find that new motives of action are supplied, new thoughts arise, and new actions must result. But they can make advancement only through conflict; for there is an enemy who ever contends against them, presenting temptations to cause the soul to doubt and sin. There are hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil that must be overcome. Appetite and passion must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. There is no end to the warfare this side of eternity. But while there are constant battles to fight, there are also precious victories to gain; and the triumph over self and sin is of more value than the mind can estimate.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 20.

1.b. How should one present himself to God? 2 Timothy 2:15.

 Note: “The science of a pure, wholesome, consistent Christian life is obtained by studying the word of the Lord. This is the highest education that any earthly being can obtain.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 11.

“Upon the right improvement of our time depends our success in acquiring knowledge and mental culture. The cultivation of the intellect need not be prevented by poverty, humble origin, or unfavorable surroundings. … A resolute purpose, persistent industry, and careful economy of time, will enable men to acquire knowledge and mental discipline which will qualify them for almost any position of influence and usefulness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 343, 344.



2.a. How can a person be delivered from a source of unrest and obtain peace of mind? Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7.

Note: “The religion of Christ, so far from being the cause of insanity, is one of its most effectual remedies; for it is a potent soother of the nerves.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 444.

“When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ’s love and under His protecting care. … Entering into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace.” The Ministry of Healing, 250.

2.b. How can one be relieved of the burdens of anxiety and anxious thoughts? Matthew 11:28–30.

Note: “When men go forth to their daily toil, as when they engage in prayer; when they lie down at night, and when they rise in the morning; when the rich man feasts in his palace, or when the poor man gathers his children about the scanty board, each is tenderly watched by the heavenly Father. No tears are shed that God does not notice. There is no smile that He does not mark.

“If we would but fully believe this, all undue anxieties would be dismissed. Our lives would not be so filled with disappointment as now; for everything, whether great or small, would be left in the hands of God, who is not perplexed by the multiplicity of cares, or overwhelmed by their weight. We should then enjoy a rest of soul to which many have long been strangers.” Steps to Christ, 86.



3.a. What does sin do to our minds, the home of our characters, and how can it be eliminated from our lives? Psalms 51:1–4; 32:5.

Note: “Let none flatter themselves that sins cherished for a time can easily be given up by and by. This is not so. Every sin cherished weakens the character and strengthens habit; and physical, mental, and moral depravity is the result. You may repent of the wrong you have done, and set your feet in right paths; but the mold of your mind and your familiarity with evil will make it difficult for you to distinguish between right and wrong. Through the wrong habits formed, Satan will assail you again and again.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 281.

“Sin not only shuts us away from God, but destroys in the human soul both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him. All this work of evil it is Christ’s mission to undo. The faculties of the soul, paralyzed by sin, the darkened mind, the perverted will, He has power to invigorate and to restore. He opens to us the riches of the universe, and by Him the power to discern and to appropriate these treasures is imparted.” Education, 28, 29.

3.b. How does temptation begin? James 1:6, 13, 14.

Note: “The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly, to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature, or disregarding prudence and the judgment God has given us to use. This would not be genuine faith but presumption.” Our High Calling, 93.

“The beginning of yielding to temptation is in the sin of permitting the mind to waver, to be inconsistent in your trust in God. The wicked one is ever watching for a chance to misrepresent God, and to attract the mind to that which is forbidden. If he can, he will fasten the mind upon the things of the world. He will endeavor to excite the emotions, to arouse the passions, to fasten the affections on that which is not for your good; but it is for you to hold every emotion and passion under control, in calm subjection to reason and conscience. Then Satan loses his power to control the mind.” Ibid., 87.



4.a. How does Satan seek to take control of the mind? 1 Peter 5:8.

 Note: “Satan’s work is to discourage the soul. Christ’s work is to inspire the heart with faith and hope. Satan seeks to unsettle our confidence. He tells us that our hopes are built upon false premises rather than upon the sure, immutable word of Him who cannot lie.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 32.

“When the character is lacking in purity, when sin has become a part of the character, it has a bewitching power that is equal to the intoxicating glass of liquor. The power of self-control and reason is overborne by practices that defile the whole being; and if these sinful practices are continued, the brain is enfeebled and diseased, and loses its balance.” Maranatha, 229.

“We have found in our experience that if Satan cannot keep souls bound in the ice of indifference, he will try to push them into the fire of fanaticism.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 644.

4.b. How are minds strengthened and healed? Matthew 9:2–7, 20–22.

Note: “Talk courage to the people; lift them up to God in prayer. Many who have been overcome by temptation are humiliated by their failures, and they feel that it is in vain for them to approach unto God; but this thought is of the enemy’s suggestion. When they have sinned, and feel that they cannot pray, tell them that it is then the time to pray. Ashamed they may be, and deeply humbled; but as they confess their sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.” The Ministry of Healing, 181, 182.



5.a. How can a person be encouraged to gain the strength of an overcomer? Hebrews 11:32–40.

Note: “All minds are not naturally constituted alike. We have varied minds; some are strong upon certain points and very weak upon others. These deficiencies, so apparent, need not and should not exist. If those who possess them would strengthen the weak points in their character by cultivation and exercise they would become strong.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 33.

“All the powers of the mind should be called into use and developed in order for men and women to have well-balanced minds.” Ibid., 152, 153.



1    How can one obtain the best education in the world?

2    What should you do when stressed out and anxiety-laden?

3    What does sin do to your mind?

4    What is the prescription needed to cure a sinful mind?

5    How do feelings relate to mental weakness and how might a person gain strength in this area?

Copyright 1995 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Greens and Olives

Choose Your Olive Wisely

Olives and olive oil were not only an important component of the ancient Mediterranean diet, but also one of the most successful industries in antiquity. The olive also came to have a wider cultural significance, most famously as a branch of peace and as the victor’s crown in the ancient Olympic Games.

Although oil was a common product, it was not necessarily a cheap one and there were different grades of quality.

“Traditional fermentation is a slow process caused by the action of yeast and bacteria, and it produces a food that is brimming with healthy compounds and active cultures that are good for you. But in today’s ‘faster is better’ world, olives are much more likely to be treated with lye to remove the bitterness, then packed in salt and canned. ‘Processed’ olives are those that have been through a lye bath; the more ‘old-fashioned’ (and way better) method is to cure them in oil, brine, water, or salt. Those are known as ‘oil-cured,’ ‘brine-cured,’ ‘water-cured,’ or ‘dry-salted’ olives. …

“Olives and their oils contain a host of beneficial plant compounds, including tocopherols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, sterols, and polyphenols. Polyphenols are probably what give olives their taste; the polyphenols from olives have anti-inflammatory activity, improve immune function, help prevent damage to DNA, and protect the cardiovascular system. …

“The fat in olives (and olive oil) is largely the mono-unsaturated fat oleic acid, which has been associated with higher levels of protective HDL (“good”) cholesterol. A number of studies have shown that people who get plenty of mono-unsaturated fat are less likely to die of heart disease.” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., 232.

Recipe – Greens and Olives


4 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped

8-10 cups torn/chopped mixed greens such as chard, kale, turnip greens, etc.

½ cup or more olives, cut in half

2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional

salt, to taste


Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes, if using. Cook and stir another minute. Add greens a handful at a time, tossing until wilted between additions; season with salt and cook until all greens are wilted and softened, about 3 or more minutes longer. Add olives and lemon juice and toss to combine; season with more lemon juice or salt, if desired.

Journey with Jesus

An oxymoron is defined as a self-contradictory statement or saying. Many of the greatest truths that Jesus taught seem to be self-contradictory, like the beatitude that says, “Happy are those that mourn.” In other words, happy are the sad.

The second beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). It sounds just as strange and paradoxical as does the first beatitude. It is seemingly contrary to the accepted views of all mankind in every age of human history. It is not our custom to envy those who weep or to congratulate the broken-hearted. We usually pity them and offer them our sympathy. We write them letters of condolence and we are thankful that we have escaped that terrible situation. But Jesus pronounces a blessing on the mourners. He declares them to be happy and sets them apart as a special, privileged class. Now, before we look at that, we need to understand one thing. This beatitude does not have universal application and is not all inclusive. It does not embrace every person in the world who mourns, regardless of the cause, because there is a mourning that will know no comfort. There are burning tears that will never be wiped away and a bitter anguish that will never be appeased.

Jesus was very clear about this when He said, “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12). That there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is also mentioned in Matthew 13:42 and again in verse 50. Over and over again Jesus warned that there was coming a time when many would experience a sorrow for which there would be no healing and no consolation. Jesus warned, “The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:50, 51).

Again, in Matthew 25, the same warning is repeated when He said, “Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (verse 30). There is coming a time at the end of the world when, sadly, some people are going to say, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:20)! Those who are finally lost will have a sorrow that has no comfort. There will be no alleviating their bitter anguish. There can be no real, lasting comfort for the person who refuses to separate from sin, who refuses all the overtures of the God of heaven for mercy if you will repent. If you grieve away the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, then there’s no way for you to be comforted.

The apostle Paul talks about a sorrow for which there is no comfort. He says, “Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

This sort of sorrow does not bring comfort; it brings death. Today, there are millions of people whose sorrow is borne of remorse, not because of their conduct, not because of their sins, but because of the personal loss that has resulted from their conduct. They do not hate the sin; they love the sin. What they hate is the result. Jails, prisons and penitentiaries are filled with mourners of this sort, but their mourning does not lead to any blessed results.

Then there is a large class of pessimistic people who mourn. One Christian writer described them as people who glory in gloom and misery. There are those who are veritable gluttons for wretchedness searching for despair as bees search for honey. They are never so happy as when they feel that they have a perfect right to be miserable and they are never so miserable as when they feel duty-bound to be happy.

We cannot study the beatitudes and understand them until we recognize that they are inseparably connected. Each one is an advanced step on the path that leads to the kingdom of heaven, forming links in a chain of spiritual growth. They constitute the steps of a ladder that lead to the kingdom of blessedness. Blessed mourning is that which comes as a result of a person’s recognition of his spiritual poverty. Remember, the first beatitude is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Those people who recognize their spiritual poverty and see their sinful condition say like the apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death” (Romans 7:24)?

Realizing their condition and mourning with true heart sorrow that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, and in need of divine help will open the way for them to be comforted. The apostle Paul describes this sorrow that brings comfort and happiness. He says, “Even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing” (2 Corinthians 7:8, 9). “For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (verse 11).

Godly sorrow is sorrow for the sins that have destroyed our peace and which have caused the indescribable sufferings of the One who paid the redemption price. Comfort is needed only where there has been grief. There can be no comfort if there has not first been discomfort. There can be no healing until a person recognizes that they have been wounded. Heart sorrow is the essential spiritual preparation for pardon. And pardon is the prerequisite for comfort and happiness. Whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent. And penitence is a heart sorrow for sin, a brokenness of spirit because of conscious failure.

The Bible gives many examples of godly and ungodly sorrow. For instance, the patriarch Job, when he ceased trying to justify himself and began to recognize his sins and to mourn over them, his captivity was turned around and he was blessed above anything he had before experienced.

The same is true in regard to Isaiah the prophet. In his agony of soul over the sins of his life, he speaks of himself as being a man of unclean lips, dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips (Isaiah 6:5).

Recognizing this condition, it brought him to the dawn of a new day, the doorway to happiness. He was anointed as a messenger of the Lord.

There also is the example of King Saul who did not repent of his sin of rebellion, but mourned because the sin cost him his throne. He only made a forced confession when there was no other course open to him. But a forced confession does not bring forgiveness. His mourning over his rejection as king brought him no comfort. His was not a sorrow for sin, but like many who have broken the law, he was only sorry for the consequences of his sin.

David, Saul’s successor, also committed sins. Comparing their lives, it appears that David committed sins just as great as did Saul. The difference was that David was truly sorry, not just for what he had done, but he realized that he was totally wretched and in need of a recreated heart. He knew that without it he could never be saved. David feared that he had committed the unpardonable sin.  He pled, “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness” (Psalm 51:14). “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (verses 10, 11). He recognized his condition. He was wretched, miserable and undone, and unless the Lord created within him a new heart, a new spirit, he was lost. His repentance was accepted. The consciousness of the enormity of his sin caused him to suffer very keenly and in brokenness of heart he cried out, “O Lord, give me a new heart.”

Jesus said to Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (verse 5). In other words, unless you have a new heart, a new spirit, you cannot be saved.

Judas was another mourner. Judas mourned over the great sin of betraying his Lord and Master. His remorse was so terrible that it drove him to murder himself. However, it was not of the godly sort that brings comfort. He was sorry for the consequences of what he had done, but he never repented for the sin itself.

Peter sinned almost as grievously as did Judas. He betrayed Jesus Christ on the same night, but his remorse was great, and his grief led to genuine repentance, repentance not just for the consequences, but for the sin itself. The result was that he was comforted and blessed. Jesus is the only source of true comfort, and if you want to experience that comfort you must go to Him, asking for the gift of repentance and a desire to be born again. True repentance and sorrow for sin can only come as a gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of repentance (Acts 5).

It is sorrow for our sinful condition that will be comforted. Jesus is the only source of comfort, and therefore all mourning should lead us to Him. In fact, Jesus has given an invitation to people who are mourning because of a bereavement. Maybe you have lost your father or your mother or your wife or your husband or a child, and you are bereaved and mourning. Jesus invites us to come to Him and receive comfort.

In Isaiah 61 there is a prophecy of the work of the Messiah, the Christ. Messiah from the Hebrew, Christ from the Greek, both mean the Anointed One. Jesus applied this prophecy to Himself. It says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (verses 1–3).

Notice, the work of the Messiah was to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort all that mourn, to give them that mourn in Zion beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. He still wants to do this same work today, but this world has a problem. It seems we lack a consciousness of sin which can only be brought about by a vision of the character of Christ. Recognition of sin is a result of recognition of God and this must be followed by genuine heart sorrow and repentance. This present generation is but little disturbed or concerned over sin. Multitudes of people have so far lost their sense of right and wrong and are virtually amoral or non-moral. Moral and spiritual standards have been trampled underfoot until, to the majority of people, nothing is considered sinful or wrong anymore. Such an attitude always produces a spirit of pride and self-appreciation which makes its possessors feel that they are rich and in need of nothing.

Today’s world is actually similar to the world in which Jesus lived, in that there are few people who feel their poverty of spirit enough to mourn over it. There are many who feel that somehow, they lack something, but a mere recognition of that lack is not enough. The blessing is only promised for the convicted sinner who takes the matter seriously, grieving over the situation until the remedy is applied. His godly sorrow must turn his footsteps toward Him who is anxiously awaiting to supply all of his needs. The knowledge of our need is valueless unless it leads us to the One who can provide the solution. There is comfortless sorrow rampant in the world today, because godly sorrow over sin has almost disappeared from among men, yet comfort in sorrow of any kind and for any cause is awaiting those who renounce sin. The heavenly blessing embraces all the sorrows that afflict mankind as long as it comes as a result of mourning over sin, which must be experienced first.

The ultimate fulfillment of comfort will come in that blessed realm where sin and all of its results are no more. Jesus came to redeem His people and take them to a better land as described in Isaiah 35, verse 10. It says, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

We look forward to that time when there will be no more sorrow. Revelation 21:4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” For sin, the cause of suffering, will at last be done away (Revelation 20).

The time is coming soon when sin and sinners will be no more and when that time comes, everything will be clean in God’s universe. If you want to see it, you must be cleansed from your sins, not only forgiven, but cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). For concerning it, “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27).

Then the saved will experience the ultimate fulfillment of the promise that the mourners will be comforted, for they will be in that better land where peace and joy will reign forever.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

A cold shower is often an annoyance in western societies, rather than an unavoidable necessity. Now, however, many are voluntarily turning their taps as cold as they can in the name of “wellness.” There are a few popular trends out there with no-scientific backing, but cold-water immersion isn’t one of them. Cold showers are proven to have a wealth of evidence-backed benefits.

Nutrition, movement, and quality sleep are the pillars of health. How does the discomfort of an ice-cold shower fit into that?

We are constantly bombarded with messages to take a pill, buy a gadget, or see a specialist to feel better but conventional methods are not working. So, researchers are now looking at natural health methods for chronic diseases. One of the natural health methods being studied is cold-water immersion. In a clinical trial where participants had two to three cold showers for five minutes each session, there was an increase in endorphin levels.

In America, depression affects at least 10% of the population (reported, but there are likely many more). It’s clear that antidepressants aren’t working for everyone; we need to make it clear to more people that these natural remedies will help.

Are you feeling sluggish of a morning? It’s no surprise that a cold shower will wake you up quickly. Your stress hormone, cortisol, should start kicking in as the sun rises and wake you up. If you’re a slow-starter, get your hormones working for you faster. A cold shower will increase your alertness, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. It’ll also increase immune cell production and boost your energy. Exposure to cold water increases glutathione and improves levels of uric acid. When these two are combined, they can relieve stress, which makes you more relaxed.

In a study of over 3,000 people, cold showers of 30-90 seconds resulted in a 29% reduction in sick days. Athletes have been utilizing the benefits of cold exposure for years. Ice baths reduce pain and recovery time for active people. Studies have shown that just five minutes in a cold shower a few times per week will reduce depression, increase focus, and increase your immunity. And it doesn’t take any more time in your busy schedule to get started.

Most of the research undertaken proves that all you need is a few five-minute cold showers per week to reap these benefits. Five minutes is a long time in the cold shower if you’re new to this. Here’s the best way to get started for beginners.

Ease into it. Jumping straight into a cold shower is a shock to your system. Start with a warm temperature, then slowly get colder.

Don’t put your head under the water for too long. If you’ve sipped on your green smoothie too quickly, you will have experienced “brain freeze.” Cold showers can be a shock to your brain also. Duck your head under the water occasionally at a rate that is achievable for you.

And, do not forget to breathe. Most people hold their breath when engaging in a challenging activity. Conscious breathing will give you more oxygen, which your cells need to function. When you breathe into it, you’ll energize your body, and the cold will become easier to manage.

The surprising benefits of cold showers are undeniable. We are almost always in our “comfort zones,” which is not always contributing to a healthier and happier community.

Enjoy the undeniable benefits of cold-water immersion by stepping into the short-term discomfort of a cold shower today.

Excerpts from NaturalHealth365, Lori Clarkson, July 31, 2020.

Question – What does it mean to worship God in Spirit and in truth?


What does it mean to worship God in Spirit and in truth?


Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24). This is the only type of worship that is acceptable.

Here is declared the same truth that Jesus had revealed to Nicodemus when He said, “Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, margin).

“Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit’s working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters.” The Desire of Ages, 189.

True worship must be “in spirit,” that is, engaging the whole heart. Nothing less than the whole heart will be acceptable to the Lord. Unless there is a real passion for God, there is no worship in spirit. At the same time, worship must be “in truth,” that is, truth as it is in Jesus. Unless we have knowledge of the God we worship, there is no worship in truth. Both are necessary for God-honoring worship. Spirit without truth leads to a shallow, emotional experience that could be compared to a high. As soon as the emotion is over, the worship ends. Truth without spirit, the Holy Spirit, can result in a dry, form of joyless legalism. The best combination of both aspects of worship results in a joyous appreciation of God informed by Scripture. The more we know about God, the more we appreciate Him. The more we appreciate, the deeper our worship. The deeper our worship, the more God is glorified.

Let us worship our Lord in the way God designed it to be—in Spirit and in Truth.

Nature – Singing Sand

Marco Polo thought it was evil spirits when he heard it in China. Residents of Copiapo, Chile, heard it emanating from a sandy hill and called it El Bramador because of its roar and bellow. Scientists today call it “singing sand,” but they all refer to the same thing: sand grains shuffling down the slopes of certain sand dunes producing a deep, groaning hum known as the “Song of Dunes.”

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding what causes the sands to “sing,” but scientists have determined certain conditions and actions that must exist and/or occur in order for the desert sands to produce their song.

So exactly how does it happen? The sound you hear typically is more of a roar or boom than an actual song and can reach from 105 to 150 decibels of sound. That’s the equivalent of the sound you would experience at a sporting event or from a fighter jet engine. To put that in perspective of noise, a human continuously exposed to these levels of sound could experience ear damage within 15 minutes.

It is known that most of the time, sand produces sound at a frequency near 450 Hz (hertz equals the number of cycles per second). Some scholars have suggested that the thickness of the dry sand layer determines the frequency while others suggest it is the shear rate, the flow of the top dry sand layer moving at a constant speed over the stationary layer of moist sand below, each grain colliding with and rolling around its neighbors, creating a constant stream of collisions.

The difference in moisture content between the sand layers causes sound waves to bounce between the layers, increasing the resonance and volume of sound. What actually generates the noise is unclear, but one theory is that it is produced by friction between the sand particles. Another is that air is compressed between the particles and yet another suggests it is electrostatics.

Other contributing factors are believed to be the size of the grains of sand, typically 0.1 – 0.5 mm in diameter, which controls the actual sound and determines the pitch of the note, though the “why” is still unknown.

Humidity levels can also have an effect.

Crescent-shaped dunes (barchans) are the main source of sound, such as the singing dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert, which has some of the tallest sand dunes in the world at a height of 1,600 feet, whose song can be deafeningly loud.

Since this singing occurs in areas with little to no human presence, it is believed that the singing is triggered by powerful winds blowing over the sand rather than by any human influence. The wind shears off the thicker top layer of dry sand from the dunes, like an avalanche. The energy produced between the dry sand layer as it slides down the dune and the wet layer beneath causes this “booming” sound that continues for a time even after the dry sand avalanche has stopped and can reverberate for miles.

Each boom can be a single musical note on the musical scale. The thicker the layer of dry sand, the lower the musical note. A low G-sharp note on the musical scale was found in dunes in Morocco, however Dunes in Oman have produced a nine-note blare.

There are about 35 deserts around the world with dunes that produce the “Song of Dunes.” These include deserts found in the United States, China, Japan, Africa, Qatar and Egypt.

You can also find singing sand on the beach.

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).

Sources: National Geographic – Singing Sand Dunes Explained by Shannon Fischer, October 13, 2012; World Atlas – What are Singing Sands? By Ferdinand Bada, June 29, 2018, in World Facts; and Wikipedia – Singing Sands