September 18, 2011 – September 24, 2011
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:11.
Study Help: Child Guidance, 527–537; Testimonies, vol. 6, 349–368.
“To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.
1 THE FIRST GIFTS
- What blessed gifts did God give at creation? Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:2, 3.
Note: “He [Jesus] referred them [His hearers] to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 63.
- What does God desire in these last days? Acts 3:19–21.
Note: “In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 64.
“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. … God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue.” Prophets and Kings, 678.
2 THE CONNECTION
- What is the connection between the family and the Sabbath? Exodus 31:13–17; Deuteronomy 11:19.
Note: “The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children.” Education, 250, 251.
- How does our Sabbath preparation parallel with the preparation for the Lord’s coming? Will we be ready or unprepared? Amos 4:12.
Note: “I saw that we should not put off the coming of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘Prepare, prepare, for what is coming upon the earth. Let your works correspond with your faith.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 123.
“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular … papers be put out of sight. …
“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time. Whenever it is possible, employers should give their workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. …
“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church should be put away. …
“Before the Sabbath begins, the mind as well as the body should be withdrawn from worldly business. God has set His Sabbath at the end of the six working days, that men may stop and consider what they have gained during the week in preparation for the pure kingdom which admits no transgressor. We should each Sabbath reckon with our souls to see whether the week that has ended has brought spiritual gain or loss.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 355, 356.
3 A SPECIAL TIME—DON’T WASTE IT
- How should we spend the precious hours of the Sabbath? Psalm 95:1–11; Exodus 20:8–11.
Note: “Before the setting of the sun, let the members of the family assemble to read God’s Word, to sing and pray. … We need to confess to God and to one another. …
“This should be a day of blessing to us—a day when we should lay aside all our secular matters and center our thoughts upon God and heaven.” Child Guidance, 529.
“The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time parents should spend with their children.” Ibid., 532.
- What should we not allow on the Sabbath day? Isaiah 58:13.
Note: “None should permit themselves, through the week, to become so absorbed in their temporal interests, and so exhausted by their efforts for worldly gain, that on the Sabbath they have no strength or energy to give to the service of God. We are robbing the Lord when we unfit ourselves to worship Him upon His holy day. …
“Let not the precious hours of the Sabbath be wasted in bed. On Sabbath morning the family should be astir early.” Child Guidance, 530.
“We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.
“In order to keep the Sabbath holy, it is not necessary that we enclose ourselves in walls, shut away from the beautiful scenes of nature and from the free, invigorating air of heaven. … The mind cannot be refreshed, enlivened, and elevated by being confined nearly all the Sabbath hours within walls, listening to long sermons and tedious, formal prayers. The Sabbath of the Lord is put to a wrong use if thus celebrated.” Ibid., vol. 2, 583.
4 ACTIVITIES TOGETHER
- What are some special things to do on the Sabbath? Job 12:7–9; Psalm 150:1, 6.
Note: “Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power, it is the day above all others when we should acquaint ourselves with God through His works. In the minds of the children the very thought of the Sabbath should be bound up with the beauty of natural things. Happy is the family who can go to the place of worship on the Sabbath as Jesus and His disciples went to the synagogue—across the fields, along the shores of the lake, or through the groves. Happy the father and mother who can teach their children God’s written word with illustrations from the open pages of the book of nature; who can gather under the green trees, in the fresh, pure air, to study the word and to sing the praise of the Father above.
“By such associations parents may bind their children to their hearts, and thus to God, by ties that can never be broken.” Education, 251.
“In pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. Amid the beautiful things of nature tell them the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Describe to them God’s great work of creation. …
“Tell them of the way of salvation. … Let the sweet story of Bethlehem be repeated. Present before the children Jesus, as a child obedient to His parents, as a youth faithful and industrious, helping to support the family. … From time to time read with them the interesting stories in Bible history. Question as to what they have learned in the Sabbath school, and study with them the next Sabbath’s lesson.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 358, 359.
- What else must we include in our Sabbath activities? Hebrews 10:24, 25.
Note: “The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God’s holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. …
“The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. … Man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds.” The Desire of Ages, 207.
5 PREPARING FOR ETERNITY
- What does the Sabbath foreshadow now? Hebrews 4:8–11; Isaiah 66:22, 23; Revelation 21:1.
Note: “There [in the city of God] the redeemed shall ‘know, even as also they are known’ [I Corinthians 13:12]. The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the soul shall there find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together ‘the whole family in heaven and earth’ [Ephesians 3:15]—these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed. …
“The family of heaven and the family of earth are one.” The Adventist Home, 544.
- Unto what words of instruction should we take heed in order to be prepared for the great day of God? II Peter 3:11–14.
Note: “ ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else’ [Isaiah 45:22]. This is the message written in nature, which the Sabbath is appointed to keep in memory. …
“God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 283.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What are the twin institutions which were given at creation and what are their purposes?
2 What is the connection between the family and the Sabbath?
3 How should you spend your time on the Sabbath day?
4 Describe some special activities to do together.
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