Bible Study – Winning the Battle of the Mind

June 20 – 26, 2021

Key Text:

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 141–144; Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 797–806.


“Thoughts and meditations upon the goodness of God to us would close the avenues of the soul to Satan’s suggestions.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 222.



1.a. What defense is available to us in the battle against temptation? Psalms 17:4; 119:11, 130.

 Note: “Let the youth … be taught to give close study to the word of God. Received into the soul, it will prove a mighty barricade against temptation.” Education, 190.

1.b.      What is to be our guide in directing our steps and making choices in life? Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 18:10; Matthew 4:4, first part.

Note: “I counsel you to receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your soul. The word of God is your haven. It is a tower of strength, into which you may run and be safe.” The Upward Look, 125.



2.a. How can the follower of Christ obtain positive and clear spiritual discernment? 1 Corinthians 2:9–13; Revelation 3:18, last part.

Note: “Satan has summoned the hosts of darkness to war against the saints. We cannot afford to be indifferent to his attacks. He comes in many ways, and we must have clear spiritual discernment, that we may be able to discern when he is seeking to gain possession of our minds.” Our High Calling, 19.

“Do not permit yourself to be discouraged. Do not permit yourself to be provoked, but let intelligent reason control your actions.” The Upward Look, 139.

2.b.      How is one to deal with the negative feelings of depression, fretfulness, hate, anxiety, sadness, etc.? Psalm 100:2, 4; Ephesians 6:10, 11; James 4:7, 8.

Note: “When you see iniquity all around you it makes you all the more glad that He [Christ] is your Saviour, and we are His children. Then shall we look at the iniquity around us and dwell upon the dark side? You cannot cure it; then talk of something that is higher, better, and more noble.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 490.

“It is our right, our privilege, to dismiss gloomy depression.” The Upward Look, 38.

“It is our duty not to live for self, but for the good of others—not to be controlled by feelings, but to consider that our influence is a power for good or evil.” Ibid., 55.

“It is not our efforts that bring victory. It is seeing God behind the promise, and believing and trusting Him. Grasp by faith the hand of infinite power. The Lord is faithful who hath promised.” Ibid., 133.



3.a. How can we fight the battle victoriously as Christ did? Isaiah 26:4. What are some spiritual antidotes?

For fear: Isaiah 41:10, 13

For depression/sadness: Jeremiah 31:10–13

For worry: Psalm 37:5; 1 Peter 5:7

For impurity: 1 Corinthians 6:15–20

For worthlessness: 1 John 3:1, 2.

 Note: “The word of God must not be kept apart from our life. It must be entertained in the mind, welcomed in the heart, and be cherished, loved, and obeyed. We need also much more knowledge; we need to be enlightened in regard to the plan of salvation. There is not one in one hundred who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 360.

3.b.      What theme for meditation is provided for the Christian? 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 2:6.

Note: “It is only by long and persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict that we shall be overcomers.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 324.

“With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit’s power we could, become living channels of light. We could then approach the mercy seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward. We would take it by force, as did Jacob. Then our message would be the power of God unto salvation. Our supplications would be full of earnestness, full of a sense of our great need; and we would not be denied. The truth would be expressed by life and character, and by lips touched with the living coal from off God’s altar. When this experience is ours, we shall be lifted out of our poor, cheap selves, that we have cherished so tenderly.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1089.



4.a. How will true followers of Jesus be perceived by others? 1 Corinthians 4:9, 13.

Note: “When we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach, worldlings will regard Seventh-day Adventists as odd, singular, strait-laced extremists.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 289.

“We are to make the line of demarcation decidedly apparent.” Ibid.

“Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth—these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 216.

4.b.      How can we develop characters fit for eternity? Micah 6:8; Zephaniah 2:3; 2 Corinthians 10:5.

 Note: “If we are Christ’s, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.” Steps to Christ, 58.

“By the life we live through the grace of Christ the character is formed. The original loveliness begins to be restored to the soul. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted, and the image of the Divine begins to shine forth.” The Desire of Ages, 312.



5.a. As our mind is renewed, where will our thoughts and vision be directed? Romans 12:2; Hebrews 11:16; 12:2.

Note: “We should live for the next world. It is so wretched to live a haphazard, aimless life. We want an object in life—to live for a purpose. God help us all to be self-sacrificing, less self-caring, more forgetful of self and selfish interest; and to do good, not for the honor we expect to receive here, but because this is the object of our life and will answer the end of our existence. Let our daily prayer go up to God that He will divest us of selfishness.” Our High Calling, 242.

“Let every thought, every feeling be that of remembrance of God’s love. Let us gather up one token after another. …

“The evidence we have of God’s care and love for us is expressed in the lessons Christ gave to His disciples upon the things in nature.” The Upward Look, 15.

“Let nothing, nothing discourage you, and make you sad. Think of the goodness of God. Recount His favors and blessings.” Ibid., 30.

5.b.      What assurance do we have of victory? Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:24.

Note: “The more we love Jesus, the more entirely will self be humbled and forgotten. …

“Our God is a very present help in time of need. He is acquainted with the most secret thoughts of our hearts, with all the intents and purposes of our souls. When we are in perplexity, even before we open to Him our distresses, He is making arrangements for our deliverance.” The Upward Look, 46.

“If we trust in the Lord, we shall triumph in the warfare against unseen foes, but if we trust in our own strength, we shall surely meet with defeat. The armor is prepared. Put it on, and fight bravely for the Lord.” Ibid., 129.

“When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.



1    What is the source of the Christian’s strength and how is this strength received?

2    What promises does God give to the person who is struggling to control his thoughts?

3    What tools are given to each of us to win the battle for control of the mind?

4    What does God require of the Christian in regard to control of the thoughts?

5    How can you tell whether or not your mind has been renewed?

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

Bible Study – Guarding the Avenues of the Soul

June 13 – 19, 2021

Key Text:

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 261–268; Testimonies, vol. 8, 312–328.


“The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 460.



1.a. What battle is being waged for the control of our minds? Why is it important to be under the constant control of the Spirit of God? Acts 26:18; Luke 11:24–26.

 Note: “We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.” The Desire of Ages, 324.

1.b.      What has Satan been doing for the last 6,000 years? Isaiah 14:3–17.

Note: “For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women that none but his voice will be heard.” Medical Ministry, 111.



2.a. What choice is every man given? Revelation 3:20; 22:17 (John 7:37); Matthew 16:24.

 Note: “I entreat you to open the door of your heart and let your Saviour in. Give Him the whole heart—that which He has purchased. Ever bear in mind that it is you who must choose. God forces no man. He has chosen you, and engraven your name in the palms of His hands. Will you not give yourself fully to Him?” The Upward Look, 25.

2.b.        What precious hope does the follower of Christ have regarding the final victory over sin? John 16:33, last part; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.

Note: “Today, Satan has great power in the world. He has been permitted to have proprietorship of this earth for an appointed time. During this period, when iniquity prevails, men and women are given a chance to take sides. In every possible way, Satan tries to make the broad road attractive and the narrow road grievous, humiliating, and objectionable. He lays ingenious plans to allure men and women to indulge appetite. Cheap, unsatisfying pleasures are made all and in all in this degenerate age. Satan throws his glamour about these amusements, which eclipse eternal things. Many will sell their birthright, as did Esau, for trifling consideration … . worldly pleasure will appear more desirable to them than the heavenly birthright.

“But Christ has overcome in our behalf.” The Upward Look, 39.



3.a. Describe the effectiveness of Lucifer’s musical ability in heaven. Ezekiel 28:13.

 Note: “Satan had led the heavenly choir. He had raised the first note; then all the angelic host had united with him, and glorious strains of music had resounded through heaven in honor of God and His dear Son.” The Story of Redemption, 25.

3.b.      Research information indicates that music is a powerful stimulant affecting the whole body through the mind. How can Satan in his fallen state use music to deceive, if possible, even the very elect? Exodus 32:17–19.

Note: “They [the Israelites] ventured upon the forbidden ground, and were entangled in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 454.

“They [young Sabbath-keepers] have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. …

“The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 497.

“The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan.” Messages to Young People, 382.



4.a. Where are we to focus our attention and our thoughts? Colossians 3:1, 2.

 Note: “You should control your thoughts. This will not be an easy task; you cannot accomplish it without close and even severe effort. Yet God requires this of you; it is a duty resting upon every accountable being. You are responsible to God for your thoughts. If you indulge in vain imaginations, permitting your mind to dwell upon impure subjects, you are, in a degree, as guilty before God as if your thoughts were carried into action.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 561.

4.b.      How only can man have proper thoughts and a “right mind”? Hebrews 12:1, 2; John 17:17, 19; Psalms 119:9, 97.

 Note: “We have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 460.

“Christ alone can direct the thoughts aright. He alone can give noble aspirations and fashion the character after the divine similitude. If we draw near to Him in earnest prayer, He will fill our hearts with high and holy purposes, and with deep longings for purity and righteousness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 323.



5.a. How is the book of nature useful in quickening the mind? Romans 1:20.

Note: “Through the creation we are to become acquainted with the Creator. The book of nature is a great lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of His character, and guiding lost sheep back to the fold of God. As the works of God are studied, the Holy Spirit flashes conviction into the mind. …

“Too often the minds of students are occupied with men’s theories and speculations, falsely called science and philosophy. They need to be brought into close contact with nature.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 24, 25.

5.b.      How can Christ’s presence be made more real to each of His followers? Psalms 1:1–3; 8:3, 9. On what topics should our minds dwell? Matthew 5:5, 8; Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 3:13.

 Note: “On the holy rest day, above all other days, we should study the messages that God has written for us in nature. We should study the Saviour’s parables where He spoke them, in the fields and groves, under the open sky, among the grass and flowers. As we come close to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us, and speaks to our hearts of His peace and love.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 26.

“Our minds should be constantly dwelling on the goodness of God and the future home of the saints, and we should ever be striving for perfection of character, that at last we may be given entrance into the City of God.” The Upward Look, 325.



1    Discuss the battle being waged for the control of the human mind.

2    Discuss the individual freedom to choose.

3    How does the enemy of souls use music to influence the human mind?

4    How is the mind brought under “right control” and how does it become “right-minded”?

5    Where should the mind’s eye be focused? Mention some practical ways in which this aim can be achieved.

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

Bible Study – Battle for the Control of the Mind

June 6–12, 2021

Key Text

“They cried to God in the battle, and He was intreated of them; because they put their trust in Him” (1 Chronicles 5:20, last part).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 683–689; The Story of Redemption, 32–41.


“The perils of the last days are upon us. Satan takes the control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God.Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 79. [Emphasis author’s.]



1.a. How did Satan beguile men in the past and how is he preparing to gain complete control over human minds today? Exodus 7:11, 22; Acts 8:9–11; Revelation 13:4, 13, 14; 16:13, 14.

Note: “It was the hand of God, and no human influence or power possessed by Moses and Aaron, that wrought the miracles which they showed before Pharaoh. Those signs and wonders were designed to convince Pharaoh that the great ‘I AM’ had sent Moses, and that it was the duty of the king to let Israel go, that they might serve the living God. The magicians also showed signs and wonders; for they wrought not by their own skill alone, but by the power of their god, Satan, who assisted them in counterfeiting the work of Jehovah.

“The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents; but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, they were able to produce this appearance. It was beyond the power of Satan to change the rods to living serpents.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 264.

1.b.      How did Ellen White explain the term “empty deceit” of Colossians 2:8?

Note: “Thousands, I was shown, have been spoiled through the philosophy of phrenology and animal magnetism, and have been driven into infidelity. If the mind commences to run in this channel, it is almost sure to lose its balance and be controlled by a demon. ‘Vain deceit’ fills the minds of poor mortals. They think there is such power in themselves to accomplish great works that they realize no necessity of a higher power. … He [Jesus] did not direct the minds of poor mortals to themselves, to a power which they possessed. He was ever directing their minds to God, the Creator of the universe, as the source of their strength and wisdom.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 297.



2.a. What is the result of watching other people sin whether through media or in real life? 1 Corinthians 15:33; Psalms 101:3, 4.

2.b. How is the ninth commandment broken in all dramatical productions? Exodus 20:16; Zechariah 8:16.

Note: “Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes, deprave the imagination and debase the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence, as the desire for intoxicating drink strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 653.



3.a.       What moral responsibility do we have for what we look at? Luke 11:34.

Note: “We must pray more and exercise faith continually. I feel the necessity of drawing nearer and closer to Jesus. I see I must labor to the point to keep my mind ascending to God continually if I would maintain the victory over Satan’s temptations.” The Upward Look, 127.

3.b.      What are the three things in worldly entertainment (tv, movies, video) that the Christian is advised to leave alone? 1 John 2:16, 17.

Note: “You know our bodies are made up of the food assimilated. Now, it is the same with our minds.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 491.

“The mind is controlled either by Satan or by Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 495.

“None are in greater danger from the influence of evil spirits than those who, notwithstanding the direct and ample testimony of the Scriptures, deny the existence and agency of the devil and his angels. So long as we are ignorant of their wiles, they have almost inconceivable advantage; many give heed to their suggestions while they suppose themselves to be following the dictates of their own wisdom. This is why, as we approach the close of time, when Satan is to work with greatest power to deceive and destroy, he spreads everywhere the belief that he does not exist. It is his policy to conceal himself and his manner of working.

“There is nothing that the great deceiver fears so much as that we shall become acquainted with his devices.” The Great Controversy, 516.

“We carefully secure our houses with bolts and locks to protect our property and our lives from evil men; but we seldom think of the evil angels who are constantly seeking access to us, and against whose attacks we have, in our own strength, no method of defense. If permitted, they can distract our minds, disorder and torment our bodies, destroy our possessions and our lives.” Ibid., 517.



4.a. What kind of worldly conduct is the Christian to avoid? Ephesians 4:17–23.

Note: “It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility.” The Great Controversy, 587.

“The tempter assured Eve that as soon as she ate of the fruit she would receive a new and superior knowledge that would make her equal with God. He called her attention to himself. He ate freely of the tree and found it not only perfectly harmless but delicious and exhilarating … . He further told them that they could not die. Had they not eaten of the tree of life which perpetuates immortality? He said that God was deceiving them to keep them from a higher state of felicity and more exalted happiness.” The Story of Redemption, 34, 35.

4.b.      What works of the flesh are portrayed on television and other worldly entertainment? Galatians 5:19–21.

Note: “It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin. … It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of the soul. A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin. The mind does not come down at once from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 459.

“Do not for a moment acknowledge Satan’s temptations as being in harmony with your own mind. Turn from them as you would from the adversary himself.” Our High Calling, 85.



5.a. What does friendship with the world do to our relationship with Jesus Christ? 1 John 2:15–19; James 4:4. What separation is required? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18.

5.b.      What kind of location did God prepare as the home of our first parents? Genesis 1:28–31; 2:8, 15.

Note: “The home of our first parents was to be a pattern for other homes as their children should go forth to occupy the earth. That home, beautified by the hand of God Himself, was not a gorgeous palace. Men, in their pride, delight in magnificent and costly edifices and glory in the works of their own hands; but God placed Adam in a garden. This was his dwelling. The blue heavens were its dome; the earth, with its delicate flowers and carpet of living green, was its floor; and the leafy branches of the goodly trees were its canopy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49.



1    Describe Satan’s techniques to gain control over human minds.

2    How does the media, movies and videos, advertising, etc., exercise a powerful influence over the thoughts and actions of men?

3    How do visual images affect the thoughts?

4    Discuss Satan’s use of mingling truth and error to suit his purposes.

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

Bible Study – Developing a Christlike Character

Let This Mind Be in You

May 30 – June 5, 2021

Key Text

“Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

Study Help: Maranatha, 229; Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 641–651.


“As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here.” The Desire of Ages, 331.



1.a. Where did Jesus gather examples to illustrate truth? Matthew 13:9–13, 16.

Note: “Through the imagination He [Christ] reached the heart. His illustrations were taken from the things of daily life, and although they were simple, they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning. The birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the seed, the shepherd and the sheep—with these objects Christ illustrated immortal truth; and ever afterward, when His hearers chanced to see these things of nature, they recalled His words. Christ’s illustrations constantly repeated His lessons.” The Desire of Ages, 254.

1.b. How does Paul counsel us to use our imagination? Philippians 4:8.

 Note: “Christ withheld no truths essential to our salvation. Those things that are revealed are for us and our children, but we are not to allow our imagination to frame doctrines concerning things not revealed.” Medical Ministry, 100.

“Through Christ you may and should be happy and should acquire habits of self-control. Even your thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God and your feelings under the control of reason and religion. Your imagination was not given you to be allowed to run riot and have its own way without any effort at restraint or discipline. If the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong, and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character. When you decide that as Christians you are not required to restrain your thoughts and feelings you are brought under the influence of evil angels and invite their presence and their control. If you yield to your impressions and allow your thoughts to run in a channel of suspicion, doubt, and repining, you will be among the most unhappy of mortals, and your lives will prove a failure.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 310.

1.c. How did the wrong use of the imagination prepare the world to be destroyed in Noah’s day? Genesis 6:5.



2.a. What is the natural, moral tendency of human nature? Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 7:14–24.

Note: “One neglect, often repeated, forms habit. One wrong act prepares the way for another. That act, repeated, forms habit. Bad habits are more easily formed than good ones, and are given up with more difficulty. It takes far less time and pains to spoil the disposition of a child than it does to imprint upon the tablets of the soul principles and habits of righteousness. It is only by constantly watching and counterworking the wrong that we can hope to make the disposition right. The Lord will be with you, mothers, as you try to form right habits in your children. But you must begin the training process early, or your future work will be very difficult.” The Review and Herald, December 5, 1899.

 2.b. What is essential in the formation of correct habits? Matthew 7:24, 25.

Note: “The word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct habits of living, and the testimonies, general and personal, have been calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 323.

“Once formed, habit is like an iron net. You may struggle desperately against it, but it will not break. Your only safe course is to build for time and for eternity.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 596.



3.a. What is our moral obligation to our fellow men? Leviticus 19:18; Romans 13:8; Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1–5.

Note: “The reason there are so many hardhearted men and women in our world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness and has been discouraged and repressed. The better part of the nature of persons of this class was perverted and dwarfed in childhood, and unless rays of divine light can melt away their coldness and hardhearted selfishness, the happiness of such is buried forever. If we would have tender hearts, such as Jesus had when He was upon the earth, and sanctified sympathy, such as the angels have for sinful mortals, we must cultivate the sympathies of childhood, which are simplicity itself.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 539.

3.b.      What does Bible prophecy predict about social problems in the last days in regard to human relations? Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:1–8.

Note: “In our association with one another we are to remember that all have not the same talents or the same disposition. The workers differ in plans and ideas. Varied gifts, combined, are necessary for the success of the work. Let us remember that some can fill certain positions more successfully than others. The worker who has been given tact and ability that fit him for the accomplishment of some special line of work should not blame others for not being able to do that which he, perhaps, can do readily. Are there not things that his fellow workers can do far more successfully than he?” Evangelism, 103.



4.a.       What character quality destroys peace? Isaiah 48:22 (cf. Isaiah 57:21).

Note: “It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and insult.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 16.

4.b. How does the company we keep affect our character? Proverbs 13:20; 28:7; 29:3, 24.

Note: “It has been truly said, ‘Show me your company, and I will show you your character.’ The youth fail to realize how sensibly both their character and their reputation are affected by their choice of associates. One seeks the company of those whose tastes and habits and practices are congenial. He who prefers the society of the ignorant and vicious to that of the wise and good shows that his own character is defective. His tastes and habits may at first be altogether dissimilar to the tastes and habits of those whose company he seeks; but as he mingles with this class, his thoughts and feelings change; he sacrifices right principles and insensibly yet unavoidably sinks to the level of his companions. As a stream always partakes of the property of the soil through which it runs, so the principles and habits of youth invariably become tinctured with the character of the company in which they mingle.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 221.

“God wants us to help one another by a manifestation of sympathy and unselfish love. There are those who have inherited peculiar tempers and dispositions. They may be hard to deal with; but are we faultless? They are not to be discouraged. Their errors are not to be made common property. Christ pities and helps those who err in judgment. He has suffered death for every man, and because of this He has a touching and profound interest in every man.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 222.



5.a. How does Ezekiel describe the new birth or conversion experience? Ezekiel 36:26, 27. What practice brings happiness to man? Matthew 7:12.

Note: “[Matthew 7:12 quoted.] The Saviour taught this principle to make mankind happy, not unhappy; for in no other way can happiness come. God desires men and women to live the higher life. He gives them the boon of life, not to enable them merely to gain wealth, but to improve their higher powers by doing the work He has entrusted to mankind—the work of searching out and relieving the necessities of their fellowmen. Man should work not for his own selfish interest but for the interest of every one about him, blessing others by his influence and kindly deeds. This purpose of God is exemplified in Christ’s life.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 645.

5.b.      What protection and watchcare has Jesus promised to His followers? Proverbs 18:24; John 14:18; Revelation 7:15–17, last part; Hebrews 13:5, last part.

Note: “This is Jesus, the life of every grace, the life of every promise, the life of every ordinance, the life of every blessing. Jesus is the substance, the glory and fragrance, the very life itself. [John 8:12 quoted.] Then the royal path cast up [for] the ransomed to walk in is not discouraging darkness. Our pilgrimage would indeed be lonely and painful were it not for Jesus. … Then let us gather every registered promise. Let us repeat them by day and meditate upon them in the night season, and be happy.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 244.



1    How can a person’s imagination be brought under proper control?

2    How is Godly character formed or developed?

3    How does a person’s social life affect his character?

4    What do you think will happen to people who are difficult to get along with when Jesus comes?

5    What are the secrets of true happiness?

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

Recipe – Maple Almond Ice Cream

Coco Palm

Coconut—is it a fruit? a nut? a seed? Coconut can be a fruit, a nut, and a seed. Scientifically, it is a fibrous, one-seeded drupe. Brown and hairy on the outside, white and creamy on the inside, coconut is a fruit which grows on coconut palm trees and is widely found in the tropics and subtropics.

Coconut is from the Arecaceae family, also known as the palm family. Theories of where the plant originated stretch from the Americas, the Indo-Pacific region, and Australia. The coconut tree grows up to 80 feet tall with large sweeping leaves about 19 feet long, producing the first fruit at about 6-10 years, but not producing its peak crop until 15-20 years old.

The coconut has four layers: the smooth, greenish, thin outermost “skin” of the drupe or the exocarp; the fibrous husk known as the mesocarp; the hard woody layer surrounding the flesh, called the endocarp; and the white, fleshy, edible meat or endosperm, which surrounds the hollow, fluid-filled, central cavity housing a translucent, sweetly flavored fluid.

Depending on the age of the coconut, the texture of the meat will vary. Younger coconuts produce a gelatinous, jelly-like meat with a light flavor that can easily be eaten from its shell with a spoon. More mature coconuts provide firmer, sweeter meat that is rigidly attached to the shell.

Most parts of the tree and fruit can be used for a range of culinary and non-culinary uses, earning it the Malayan title of “the tree of one thousand uses.” The fruit of the coconut yields milk, oil, water, flour and solids, making it an extremely versatile fruit for cooking and baking.

Recipe – Maple Almond Ice Cream


3 cups almond milk, unsweetened

1 can lite or full fat coconut milk (depending on preferred richness)

1 ½ cups cashews

¾ cup maple syrup (less, if desired)

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, alcohol-free

pinch of salt


  • Put all ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Churn for about 45 minutes or until solid.
  • Or freeze mixture in ice cube trays until solid. Place cubes in blender and blend lightly.
  • Sprinkle with crushed pistachios, roasted pecans or walnuts.
  • Enjoy this creamy, smooth, delectable dairy free dessert.

Blessed are the Meek

It has been widely taught and believed that the strongest and the fittest are the ones who survive. But there have been philosophers, as well as some Bible writers who have claimed that in the end it will be a completely opposite class who actually survive.

Many men who are considered to be the greatest in the world are actually proud and arrogant and many believe that you have to be this way in order to succeed and survive in this world. But Jesus stated something completely opposite from this. The third beatitude, found in Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

There are eight beatitudes found in the Sermon on the Mount, steps in the ladder of spiritual progress. The first beatitude is “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (verse 3). If we recognize our spiritual poverty, that will lead us to mourn over our spiritual condition. The second is, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (verse 4). If we feel our need of Jesus because of our sins and we are grieving over them, we will not only receive forgiveness from Him, but we will also learn meekness, because He is meek and lowly in heart.

Spiritual pride cannot exist in a person who has passed through the experience of the first two beatitudes, for such an experience humbles a person who has been spiritually proud. Meekness is a synonym of the word humility. Some other definitions of meekness are: gentleness, peaceableness, modesty, humbleness, unostentatiousness. These characteristics are just the opposite of haughtiness and pride. Meekness also conveys the idea of submission to God’s will. The apostle Peter, who was present when the beatitudes were spoken, enlarges on this idea in his first letter. He says, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5, 6).

It sounded strange to the people who first heard it, just like it sounds strange to many people today, because we’re used to hearing that it will be the strong and those who are most fit who will survive. But Jesus said that those who survive and inherit the earth will be the meek, the gentle, the unobtrusive, the humble. This actually was not a new idea but is stated several times in the Old Testament. For example, Psalm 37:11 says, “The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” And in Psalm 138:6, the psalmist wrote, “Though the Lord is high, yet He regards the lowly.” And again, Psalm 149:4, last part, KJV, says, “He will beautify the meek with salvation.”

The meek are blessed with a beautiful character, the character of the Saviour. The wise man Solomon said, “He gives grace to the humble [lowly]” (Proverbs 3:34, last part). So, those who are meek, those who are gentle, are under divine favor. This truth also is stated many times in the negative. The opposite of meekness is pride or haughtiness. Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.”

Proverbs 21:4 says, “A haughty look, a proud heart … are sin.” And then, “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife” (Proverbs 28:25, first part). You see, friend, the proud in heart are actually troublemakers, because they are sensitive and easily offended. They are always seeking to justify themselves and to defend their reputations. Their feelings of superiority make them feel miserable if they are not given the preeminence. Spiritually proud people are the cause of all the strife that has disturbed the peace and harmony of the church since the time of the apostles. The proud and haughty have ever been a disrupting element in the world.

Jeremiah said, “Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken” (Jeremiah 13:15 KJV). How different it sounds from the philosophy of the world in which we live. Men and women in the world today, live by the principle that the strongest, the fittest, and the most proud will be the ones who survive and succeed. The world’s great philosophers and conquerors have not considered meekness a virtue. Most all war heroes have been proud and arrogant men. And this is the spirit that dominates the prince and god of this world and all the citizens of his kingdom. It was this principle that led Lucifer to revolt against the government of God back at the beginning of the sin problem.

Isaiah 14:12–14 says, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ ” I, I, I, I will exalt myself. It was the idea of self-exaltation that led to sin in the first place.

Speaking through a serpent, he deceived Eve into thinking that if she ate the forbidden fruit that she would become like God (Genesis 3:4, 5). And so, when Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes surely were opened. They did gain a knowledge of good and evil, a knowledge of what we have known ever since – pain, suffering, loneliness, sorrow, death. Neither they nor we would ever have known any of these things, except they wanted the forbidden knowledge, just like many people want today.

In the 28th chapter of Ezekiel, speaking again of the devil, it says, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; … You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (verses 12, last part–15).

What was it that led to this iniquity, this sin at the beginning? Verse 17 says, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty.” It was pride, self-exaltation.

There are only two roads for travelers. There is the broad, easy, liberal road. On that road the proud in spirit can travel to their own destruction and carry along anything that they like. But there is also a narrow road, a restricted way, in which only the meek, and gentle, and humble can travel toward eternal life and happiness. Meekness or gentleness, or humbleness is the only pathway to a high and holy estate, while pride and self-exaltation may appear to lead to temporary success in this world, but eventually will lead to ruin. In Proverbs 16:18 and 19, Solomon said, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

Jesus stated the same thing. Notice what He said in Matthew 23:12: “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled [abased], and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The eternal law of justice has been demonstrated in the past, in the experience of Lucifer and Michael, in the lives of Haman and Mordecai and in the lives of Saul and David.

Jesus was a perfect example of gentleness and meekness. He said unto the people, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

Some people think that meekness means cowardice, just giving in to anything and being a pushover. It really doesn’t mean that at all. Gentleness and humbleness were two of the outstanding character traits of Jesus Christ. Concerning Jesus, the apostle Paul says, “Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery [that is, a thing to be grasped] to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6–11).

Jesus, being equal with God, humbled Himself and came to this world as a man. And He came not just as a man, but as a servant of the human race. One of the last acts of His life was to act the part of a servant. Remember the story in the upper room on the night of His betrayal. At that time, it was the custom when entering a house before a meal for a servant to come and wash the feet of the guests. However, on this occasion there was no servant to perform this task and the apostles were too proud to do it. While they waited, Jesus arose and took off His outer clothes and girded Himself. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of His disciples. One after the other He washed the feet of all of them (John 13).

He has been described as a servant of servants. See what Jesus said in Matthew 20:25–28, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles [that is, the worldly people] lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you [that is, among Christ’s disciples], let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Now this divine meekness that Jesus manifested was not at all related to timidity. It is not another name for fear, or anxiety, or weakness, or cowardice. In fact, the truly meek are the truly brave who alone can be calm in the midst of the storm, and not be easily ruffled or disturbed in spirit because things are going wrong. Meekness does not at all imply a negative, passive attitude that surrenders to any and every foe. Moses was declared to be the meekest man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12). And yet, when you read the story of his life, you find that he was a successful general of armies; that he faced the mightiest empire in the world at that time. He and his brother faced that whole empire alone and demanded that they yield to the sovereignty of the God of heaven.

Daniel and his companions were meek. They were humble and gentle, just like lambs, but when it came to moral principle, they stood their ground and they fought with the courage and boldness of lions. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused the authority of Nebuchadnezzar who commanded them to worship the golden image instead of the God of Heaven, even though it meant they were cast into the burning, fiery furnace. For Daniel, disobeying the king’s decree meant that he was cast into the den of lions. Meekness does not imply weakness. These brave men were not afraid to defy the decrees of the most powerful kings in the world at that time, whose word was law and whose authority embraced the whole then-known world.

After the crucifixion when the disciples saw what their Lord had done for them, their pride was abashed, abased, humbled. They could never strive for the highest place again. They knew that in the kingdom of Christ the highest position is for those who are the lowliest in servitude.

During the years of persecution and martyrdom, the disciples stood brave and firm for the truth, even though, as is recorded, 11 out of the 12 were martyred. And the one who was not martyred was banished to the isle of Patmos, after he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, in an effort to destroy him.

So, a meek person is not a weak person. In fact, meek people end up being the bravest people in the world. Abraham Lincoln was a very meek man, but also very great. His greatness grows with every passing year as people begin to appreciate more and more his character. Abraham Lincoln is said to have had a favorite poem that was entitled, “O, Why Should the Spirit of Mortal Be Proud?” Lincoln was a humble man, but no one could question his courage. No person would dare say that he was weak because he was meek.

Jesus is symbolized in the Bible as a Lamb. The outstanding characteristics of a lamb are meekness and innocence. But Jesus is also characterized in the Bible as a lion, the king of beasts and the monarch of the forest. Jesus was meek and gentle and at the same time He was bold, strong and courageous. He was filled with love for men’s souls and was willing to do anything so that they could have eternal life.

He did not permit Himself to fret over the trivial things that so often try our souls today. He was too busy with important things to pay any attention to insults which did not in the least affect the high and noble principles for which He stood. So Jesus submitted meekly to a traitor’s kiss. He submitted to be arrested by a mob. He submitted to be questioned by envious and hypocritical priests. He submitted to be condemned without any substantial evidence of any guilt. Pilate said three times that he found no guilt in Him at all and nothing to justify His death.

Jesus was made the subject of jest and ridicule by corrupt king Herod and his court. He also endured the mocking injustice of a weak, vacillating Roman judge. He submitted to being scourged, to be spit upon, to be insulted, and to be mocked by Pilate’s soldiers, and finally, to be crucified, the most cruel and ignominious death that was available in those days. All without the least sign of resistance. Yet, this was the same Jesus that so often demonstrated that he was not afraid of any man, or group of men, or devils.

He calmly faced the raging demoniacs and threatened the Pharisees and Sadducees with unflinching courage. With eyes flashing with indignation, He drove the merchandizing traffickers from the sacred precincts of the temple with a scourge of small cords that seemed to them like a flaming sword of divine justice and vengeance.

So, while He was meek, He was bold and courageous, and made no compromise with evil or evil doers, regardless of rank or position. Jesus wants to recreate your heart, your spirit, into the image of His own character, if you will surrender for Him to do this. He wants to make you meek like He is. Will you consent to have Him do it?

(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 – Depression

In all my years of attending church, I have noticed that there are some subjects, two in particular, DEPRESSION and its twin sister ANXIETY, that are rarely if ever mentioned. It is as if it does not exist among Christians, or that Christians should be above such behavior and therefore there is no need for its acknowledgment.

Having been employed in psychiatric institutions for many years, I can assure you that this illness knows no boundaries or discrimination: wealthy or poor, famous or infamous, anyone can be affected by this silent killer.

Depression comes from the root word depressed, pressed down. It is an intense feeling of sadness, anger, hopelessness, helplessness, uselessness, and extreme fatigue. If it is not treated, it may lead to psychosis and suicide. It is often triggered by a traumatic event: the loss of a job, death of a loved one, psychological and physical abuse and a host of other reasons.

The following statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health for individuals from ages 18 and older in America reveal the prevalence of mental health disorders:

  • Major Depressive Disorder – 16 million (worldwide – 350 million)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – 15 million
  • Phobias – 19 million
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) – 7.7 million

Staggering, is it not?

When my daughter decided to take psychology as her major in college, a church official suggested that she not waste her time. Really? I wanted to chip in; have you seen the statistics of our society? I am so happy that my daughter is receiving education in how to reach out to humanity, to be a blessing, whether it be in Christian counselling, social work, psychotherapy, whatever the direction. The Lord knows we need it.

Throughout our world history there have been many in leadership positions who have suffered with depression. I will mention just a couple.

Abraham Lincoln was known to have battled depression and suicide all his adult life.

Sir Winston Churchill called depression his “black dog.”

You may ask the question: Should a Christian ever be depressed, and if so, would this mean a lack of faith? If you are someone who is sensitive, loving, caring, giving, feeling, nurturing, empathetic, you are sure to have experienced depression to some degree.

Consider these few excerpts from Adventist Review Online, January 3, 2017, “Ellen White and Depression,” by Tim Poirier.

“In her autobiographical accounts, Ellen White frequently describes times of depression and melancholy. Many were merely a passing sadness over present conditions, but others were extended periods of gloom and discouragement. She often attributed her depressed spirits to physical ill-health, which she suffered throughout her life, in part a result of her life-threatening accident she experienced at age 9.

“In 1859 Ellen White candidly informed church members, ‘For years I have been afflicted with dropsy (edema) and disease of the heart, which has had a tendency to depress my spirits and destroy my faith and courage.’ She described having felt ‘no desire to live,’ and being unable to muster enough faith even to ‘pray for my recovery.’ Testimonies, vol. 1, 185. During this time, she confided in her diary, ‘Oh, why is it that such gloom rests upon everything? Why can I not rise above this depression of spirit? … I have no health and my mind is completely depressed.’ The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts with Annotations, vol. 1, 632, 633.

“As the Lord’s messenger, she was uniquely sensitive to the spiritual deficiencies of individuals and the church generally. Both she and James carried the state of the church continually upon their hearts: ‘Our happiness has depended upon the state of the cause of God. When God’s people are in a prospering condition, we feel free. But when they are in disorder and backslidden, nothing can make us joyful. Our whole interest and life have been interwoven with the rise and progress of the third angel’s message. We are bound up in it, and when it does not prosper, we experience great suffering of mind.’ ” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 297.

“She knew the darkness of losing children and even one’s life companion to death. Recalling the bereavement for her 3-month-old son John Herbert, she wrote, ‘After we returned from the funeral, my home seemed lonely. I felt reconciled to the will of God, yet despondency and gloom settled upon me.’ Ibid., 296.

“Ellen White found hope in Biblical accounts of spiritual giants who experienced periods of deep discouragement, yet who were not abandoned by God: individuals such as, Elijah, David, and Paul. Even Jesus, she noted, was not free from such feelings. (Matthew 26:38; John 12:27.) The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 94.

“Of Elijah she wrote, ‘If, under trying circumstances, men of spiritual power, pressed beyond measure, become discouraged and desponding, if at times they see nothing desirable in life, that they should choose it, this is nothing strange or new. … Those who, standing in the forefront of the conflict, are impelled by the Holy Spirit to do a special work, will frequently feel a reaction when the pressure is removed. Despondency may shake the most heroic faith and weaken the most steadfast will. But God understands, and He still pities and loves.’ Prophets and Kings, 173, 174.

“Writing to her son Edson, who had a tendency to ‘look on the dark side’ of things, Ellen White reminded him that ‘With the continual change of circumstances, changes come in our experience; and by these changes we are either elated or depressed. But the change of circumstances has no power to change God’s relation to us. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and He asks us to have unquestioning confidence in His love.’ In Heavenly Places, 120.

“Recalling the feelings of overwhelming despair that followed her childhood accident, Ellen White reflected, ‘I concealed my troubled feelings from my family and friends, fearing that they could not understand me. This was a mistaken course. Had I opened my mind to my mother, she might have instructed, soothed, and encouraged me.’ Life Sketches of James and Ellen G. White, 135.”

On days when you feel “pressed beyond measure” and sinking fast into despair, remember Peter’s words, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). Then Ellen White recommended the benefits of outdoor activity, gardening, enjoying nature, and simply praising God. “Go right along, singing, and making melody to God in your hearts, even when depressed by a sense of weight and sadness, I tell you as one who knows, light will come, joy will be ours, and the mists and clouds will be rolled back.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 242, 243.

Yes friends, EXERCISE is very important. When we exercise, our body releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals act as analgesics and reduce the perception of pain and triggers positive feelings. For example, the feeling after a workout or a run described as “euphoric” or as a “runner’s high” creates positive energy and a positive outlook on life. There is no excuse for inactivity, unless you are in a coma!

Claim God’s promises: “And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:1–3).

Let’s encourage one another to trigger our happy chemicals. And always remember what Paul said, “But it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

May God bless and keep you.

Question – Why aren’t my prayers answered…


Why aren’t my prayers answered when and in the way I want?


“To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need. The prayers you offer in loneliness, in weariness, in trial, God answers, not always according to your expectations, but always for your good.” Messages to Young People, 250.

“God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon Him; for should He do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favors He bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we would become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon Him, and our need of His help.” The Review and Herald, June 9, 1891.

“I saw that every prayer which is sent up in faith from an honest heart, will be heard of God and answered; and the one that sent up the petition will have the blessing when he needs it most, and it will often exceed his expectations. Not a prayer of a true saint is lost if sent up in faith, from an honest heart in faith.” Gospel Workers (1892), 114.

“Take time to pray, and as you pray, believe that God hears you. Have faith mixed with your prayers. You may not at all times feel the immediate answer; but then it is that faith is tried. You are proved to see whether you will trust in God, whether you have living, abiding faith.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 167.

“It is our privilege to come to Him with holy boldness. As in sincerity we ask Him to let His light shine upon us, He will hear and answer us. But we must live in harmony with our prayers.” Child Guidance, 499.

“When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly.” Steps to Christ, 96.

Nature – The Bombardier Beetle

Evolution versus Creation:

Bombardier beetles are some of the smaller beetles ranging in size from .25 inches to 1.5 inches. Most are under an inch. There are many different species of bombardier beetles and they come in various colors, predominately black, brown or green with yellow or orange heads. They can live up to two to three years and are found on all continents except for Antarctica.

The beetle has many predators, and this beetle protects itself by ejecting a hot noxious, acidic spray from tubes, approaching 212°F, that come from its underneath side. This acidic spray is very irritating to the membranes of the eyes, nose and lungs and can even kill some insects. This chemical spray is made and then stored in two reservoirs in its lower abdomen and upon ejection with force, it creates an explosive sound, which also helps to ward off predators. The explosive sound is actually a series of sequential explosions, about 1000 that occur so rapidly that they can be heard individually only when the sound is greatly slowed down. This spray can be aimed toward the predator with some bombardier beetles having a 270˚ angle of spraying rotation. Because this is actually a series of explosions that can be aimed, the beetle is then protected from being blown away from the force and injured or destroyed. They can also bite their predator multiple times leaving blistering of the skin.

Some argue that these defense mechanisms could have formed over long periods of time, but common sense would tell you that in order for the beetle to protect itself and not be injured by its own protective mechanisms, all of this had to be present at one time.

It seems to take a lot more faith to believe that this could have all evolved, than to believe an intelligent and loving Creator designed our world and everything in it. Knowing more about the bombardier beetle has strengthened my belief in creation by the design of an all-knowing and loving God. How about you?

This is a series of short, intermittent articles on creatures that defy evolution. These articles are based on a series of videos created by Dr. Jobe Martin. Dr. Martin was a college professor and dentist. In the fall of 1971, he gave a lecture at Baylor College in Houston, Texas, on the evolution of the tooth. After class, two students asked him if he had ever looked at the assumptions that evolution was based on and if he had looked into the claims of creationism. This began a five-year journey into the study of evolution and some of the incredible creatures in our world. During these five years, his belief was questioned, challenged and changed. Now he teaches and believes in creation by God. He also has a video series entitled, Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution.

Keys – Quality or Quantity – Heaven or the World

Jeremy and Justin were two sweet boys, that I loved dearly. I was close friends with their aunt and was able to spend a lot of time with them.

Jeremy was close to five years old and he loved cars, so one Christmas I bought him a remote-control monster truck. Justin was still just a little boy and I thought he would enjoy something fun so got him two $2 plastic water pistols.

I don’t know who had greater anticipation come Christmas morning, Jeremy or me. He tore open his gift and was overjoyed to find the monster truck. In the meantime, Justin had opened his gift and was happily playing with each of the water pistols.

All was well until Jeremy realized that he had one gift, but Justin had two. Jeremey couldn’t understand the value of his one gift. He cried and cried and would not be consoled, while Justin blissfully and almost obliviously enjoyed his plastic water pistols.

The next day, the truck was returned to the store and exchanged for two water pistols just like his brother’s. Jeremy and Justin played happily together with those inexpensive plastic water pistols.

Years later, I wonder about the spiritual concept of quality vs. quantity – heavenly vs. earthly.

I thought Jeremy would have been completely happy with that monster truck, but it was only one and his brother had two things. The devil loves to surround us with things, and lots of them. Things that are loud and fast, bright and pleasing, but they don’t last. You see, like those two plastic water pistols and all the fun that Jeremy and Justin had playing with them, it wasn’t long before they were broken and useless. Neither of them understood the value of the rejected gift. The devil’s temptation is always to want more.

Jesus offers us one thing – salvation. That one gift involves many other things – love, peace, forgiveness, mercy, grace, power and ultimately heaven. Just one thing, but oh, the quality of it.

We can choose to be mesmerized by the quantity of things the devil offers and blissfully, almost obliviously, live day to day blinded to the lack of quality in these things. Or, we can choose the one gift, the gift that is ours simply for the taking; the greatest gift that heaven could give.

The devil’s way is easier, luring the unsuspecting with its hollow glitter and charm, while the path to heaven sometimes just seems too hard. However, the rewards are everlasting.

“All heaven appreciates the struggles of those who are fighting for the crown of everlasting life, that they may be partakers with Christ in the city of God. … God wants you there, Christ wants you there, the heavenly host wants you there.” Our High Calling, 368.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. … The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; He shall preserve thy soul” (Psalm 121:1, 2, 7).

“The pure, heavenly graces are received and flourish in mind, heart, and character only as man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. … Heaven must begin on earth for every soul who will enter the heavenly mansions above.” Our High Calling, 368.

“Every provision has been made that we may attain a height of stature in Christ Jesus that will meet the divine standard.” The Review and Herald, December 16, 1884.

Dear Lord, there is nothing this world can offer of greater value or quality than what You have done for us and are preparing for those who love You. Help us to always look to You and not the world. Amen.