Bible Study – Our Last Opportunity!

December 19 – 25, 2021

Key Text

“I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 476–485; Ibid., vol. 6, 445–453.


“We are nearing the end of this earth’s history, and the different departments of God’s work are to be carried forward with much more self-sacrifice than has yet been practiced.” Evangelism, 631.



1.a. To what realities are we all subject? Hebrews 9:27. What should this make each of us consider, whether old, young, sick, or healthy? Romans 12:11.

 Note: “It often happens that an active businessman is cut down without a moment’s warning and on examination his business is found to be in a most perplexing condition. In the effort to settle his estate the lawyers’ fees eat up a large share, if not all, of the property, while his wife and children and the cause of Christ are robbed. Those who are faithful stewards of the Lord’s means will know just how their business stands, and, like wise men, they will be prepared for any emergency. Should their probation close suddenly, they would not leave such great perplexity upon those who are called to settle their estate.

“Many are not exercised upon the subject of making their wills while they are in apparent health. But this precaution should be taken by our brethren. They should know their financial standing and should not allow their business to become entangled. They should arrange their property in such a manner that they may leave it at any time.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 482.

1.b. In planning our wills, what should we consider? Isaiah 38:1.



2.a. Since thousands of dollars are lost because people die without making a legal will, what need should be brought to the attention of the believers? 1 Corinthians 4:2.

 Note: “Some wills are made in so loose a manner that they will not stand the test of the law, and thus thousands of dollars have been lost to the cause. Our brethren should feel that a responsibility rests upon them, as faithful servants in the cause of God, to exercise their intellect in regard to this matter, and secure to the Lord His own.

“Many manifest a needless delicacy on this point. They feel that they are stepping upon forbidden ground when they introduce the subject of property to the aged or to invalids in order to learn what disposition they design to make of it. But this duty is just as sacred as the duty to preach the word to save souls. Here is a man with God’s money or property in his hands. He is about to change his stewardship. Will he place the means which God has lent him to be used in His cause, in the hands of wicked men, just because they are his relatives? Should not Christian men feel interested and anxious for that man’s future good as well as for the interest of God’s cause, that he shall make a right disposition of his Lord’s money, the talents lent him for wise improvement? Will his brethren stand by and see him losing his hold on this life and at the same time robbing the treasury of God? This would be a fearful loss to himself and to the cause; for, by placing his talent of means in the hands of those who have no regard for the truth of God, he would, to all intents and purposes, be wrapping it in a napkin and hiding it in the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 479.

“Death will not come one day sooner, brethren, because you have made your will. In disposing of your property by will to your relatives, be sure that you do not forget God’s cause. You are His agents, holding His property; and His claims should have your first consideration. Your wife and children, of course, should not be left destitute; provision should be made for them if they are needy. But do not, simply because it is customary, bring into your will a long line of relatives who are not needy.” Ibid., 482.

2.b. Whether we live or die, what does God expect each of us to remember? Romans 14:8, 12.



3.a. What is our duty in these last days? 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6; Zechariah 10:1. How can we receive the latter rain or “refreshing”? Acts 3:19–21.

 Note: “The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God. God cannot pour out His Spirit when selfishness and self-indulgence are so manifest; when a spirit prevails that, if put into words, would express that answer of Cain—‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ (Genesis 4:9).” Counsels on Stewardship, 52.

“God calls for men to give the warning to the world that is asleep, dead in trespasses and sins. He calls for freewill offerings from those whose hearts are in the work, who have a burden for souls, that they shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 446.

3.b. What should be foremost in our mind today, as individuals and as a church organization? John 9:4.

Note: “We ought now to be heeding the injunction of our Saviour: ‘Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not’ (Luke 12:33). It is now that our brethren should be cutting down their possessions instead of increasing them. We are about to move to a better country, even a heavenly. Then let us not be dwellers upon the earth, but be getting things into as compact a compass as possible.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 152.

“For what shall we hoard up treasures? To be swept away by the flames of the last day? Shall we lay up gold and silver to be a witness against us in the Judgment—to eat our flesh as it were fire? Shall we cling to our possessions till they fall into the hands of our enemies? The time is coming when commandment keepers can neither buy nor sell. Of what use will houses and lands, bank stock and merchandise, be to us then? Now is the time to place our treasures where they will be eternally secure.” The Review and Herald, December 6, 1887.



4.a. Why hasn’t Christ returned yet? 2 Peter 3:9. How can we avoid losing all our means in the prophecy that is soon to be fulfilled? Isaiah 2:20; Ezekiel 7:19; Psalm 96:2–8.

 Note: “If our brethren would learn the value of souls in the light of what their salvation has cost Jesus, they would know that souls are of greater value than houses and lands, gold and precious stones, or high positions of honor.” The Review and Herald, February 5, 1884.

“The work of God is to become more extensive, and if His people follow His counsel, there will not be much means in their possession to be consumed in the final conflagration. All will have laid up their treasure where moth and rust cannot corrupt; and the heart will not have a cord to bind it to earth.” Counsels on Stewardship, 60.

4.b. What does Christ promise to all who through faithful sacrifice are seriously preparing for His return? Isaiah 33:14–17.

Note: “It is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.

“Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down.” Early Writings, 56, 57.



5.a. Where is the best investment available today, and why? Luke 12:32–34.

 Note: “Let us be honest with the Lord. All the blessings that we enjoy come from Him; and if He has entrusted us with the talent of means, that we may help to do His work, shall we hold back? Shall we say, No, Lord; my children would not be pleased, and therefore I shall venture to disobey God, burying His talent in the earth?

“There should be no delay. The cause of God demands your assistance. We ask you, as the Lord’s stewards, to put His means into circulation, to provide facilities by which many will have the opportunity of learning what is truth.” Counsels on Stewardship, 44, 45.

5.b. What declaration will the Lord make at the end of time? Psalm 50:3–5. How will all who make a covenant by sacrifice be richly rewarded? 1 Corinthians 15:57, 58.

 Note: “There is reward for the wholehearted, unselfish workers who enter this field, and also for those who contribute willingly for their support. Those engaged in active service in the field, and those who give of their means to sustain these workers, will share the reward of the faithful. …

“The self-denial they have practiced in order to support the work is remembered no more. As they look upon the souls they sought to win to Jesus, and see them saved, eternally saved—monuments of God’s mercy and of a Redeemer’s love—there ring through the arches of heaven shouts of praise and thanksgiving.” Counsels on Stewardship, 348, 349.



1    What superstition about making wills is detrimental to God’s cause?

2    Why should we not neglect to speak about making wills?

3    What is one reason why many will fail to receive the latter rain?

4    What should we realize before the approaching time of trouble?

5    How and when is the interest paid on treasure laid up in heaven?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Enlightening the Whole World

December 12 – 18, 2021

Key Text

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 9, 51–60; Ibid., vol. 3, 382–385.


“Those who rejoice in the precious light of truth should feel a burning desire to have it sent everywhere.” Counsels on Stewardship, 42.



1.a. Although literature is a powerful missionary tool, what step must follow in order to complete the gospel commission? Matthew 28:18–20. How can this need for diligent gospel workers be fulfilled? Isaiah 52:7, 8.

Note: “This work of faithfully bringing in all the tithes, that there may be meat in the house of God, would supply laborers for both home and foreign fields. Although books and publications upon present truth are pouring out their treasures of knowledge to all parts of the world, yet missionary posts must be established at different points. The living preacher must proclaim the words of life and salvation. There are open fields inviting workers to enter. The harvest is ripe, and the earnest Macedonian cry for laborers is heard from every part of the world.” Counsels on Stewardship, 39.

1.b. What urgent work needs to be done? Mark 16:15.

Note: “The magnitude of our work calls for willing liberality on the part of the people of God. In Africa, in China, in India, there are thousands, yes, millions, who have not heard the message of the truth for this time. They must be warned. The islands of the sea are waiting for a knowledge of God.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 51.



2.a. How does Inspiration emphasize the personal, human element in soul-saving? Romans 10:13–15. How can we all be involved? Revelation 22:17.

 Note: “The preaching of the gospel is God’s appointed way for converting the souls of men. Men must hear in order to be saved. They cannot hear without a preacher, and the preacher must be sent. This makes it necessary to have funds in the treasury in order to provide means whereby the missionary may reach destitute fields. In the light of this fact, how can those who profess to follow Christ, rob God of His own entrusted talents in tithes and offerings? Is it not refusing bread to starving souls? To withhold the means which God has claimed as His own, whereby He has made provision that souls shall be saved, will surely bring a curse upon those who thus rob God. Souls for whom Christ has died, are denied the privilege of hearing the truth, because men refuse to carry out the measures which God has provided for the enlightenment of the lost.” The Home Missionary, April 1, 1895.

2.b. What does God require if we neglect to return His tithe on time? Leviticus 27:31. What experience of a local church in the year 1889 can encourage all today?

 Note: “Some of those who had not been dealing justly with God, and consequently had been separating themselves from Him, began to restore that which they had withheld. One brother had not paid tithes for two years. He gave his note to the secretary of the conference for the tithe he had withheld and the interest on it, amounting to $571.50. I thank the Lord that he had the courage to do this. Another gave his note for $300. Another man who had backslidden from God so far that but little hope was cherished that he would ever turn his feet into the path of righteousness again, gave his note for $1,000. It was proposed that these long-withheld tithes and offerings be devoted to the Central European Mission; so with these and the Christmas donations, nearly $6,000 has come into the treasury from this church to be applied to the missionary cause.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 643, 644.



3.a. What objection was made against Mary’s generosity towards Jesus? John 12:3–6. How did Christ commend Mary? Mark 14:7–9.

 Note: “We make progressive movements; but at every step prejudice and false ideas must be removed. This has been the case with every reformatory movement the world has ever seen. To some of small faith and selfish, money-loving disposition, each advance move has portended general disaster and an extravagant outlay of means. They have felt as did that poor man Judas when the ointment was poured upon the head of Jesus. Why this great waste? said he; this ought to have been sold, and the money given to the poor. Again and again, when some advance step has been taken, the selfish, cautious one[s] have thought that everything was going to ruin; but when the battle has been fought against all odds, they have hailed the victory as a token that God was in the movement. When it has been so fully demonstrated that the work was of God that unbelief has had to yield, the men who led out, whose foresight was greater than that of others, who worked against all opposition, are hailed as men raised up for the time, and led by the Spirit of God. Do those men who blocked the way realize the work they have done? Do they see that the addition of their money, their strength, their faith, and courage, might have made the work stronger and more influential, and that their neglect to do what they could is sin? …

“Would that we lived so near the cross that we could see as God sees, and work as He would have us work.” The Review and Herald, February 5, 1884.

3.b. To what realities should we now awaken? John 4:35, 36.

 Note: “Money is not to be furnished for the carrying out of the work of the gospel in some mysterious way, and through unseen, mysterious agencies. God will not shower money from the windows of heaven to do His appointed work, to spread the truth in our world, and to save souls unto eternal life. He has made His people stewards of His means to be used for His glory in blessing humanity.” The Home Missionary, April 1, 1895.



4.a. What exhortation comes to all who seek to honor Christ? Matthew 5:13.

Note: “How much more eager will every faithful steward be to enlarge the proportion of gifts to be placed in the Lord’s treasure house, than to decrease his offering one jot or tittle. Whom is he serving? For whom is he preparing an offering?—For the One upon whom he is dependent for every good thing which he enjoys. Then let not one of us who is receiving the grace of Christ, give occasion for the angels to be ashamed of us, and for Jesus to be ashamed to call us brethren. …

“Those who are recipients of His grace, who contemplate the cross of Calvary, will not question concerning the proportion to be given, but will feel that the richest offering is all too meager, all disproportionate to the great gift of the only-begotten Son of the infinite God. Through self-denial, the poorest will find ways of obtaining something to give back to God.” Counsels on Stewardship, 200.

4.b. How is the present truth to be spread throughout the earth? Ecclesiastes 11:1, 6.

 Note: “The waste places of the earth are to be cultivated. In humble dependence upon God, families are to go forth and settle in the unworked places of His vineyard. As the reward of their self-sacrifice in order to sow the seeds of truth, they will reap a rich harvest.” The Review and Herald, August 26, 1902.

4.c. What is the most urgent call of today, and why? Matthew 9:36–38.

 Note: “Who is to blame for the loss of the souls who know not God, and who have had no opportunity for hearing the reasons of our faith? What obligation rests upon the church in reference to a world that is perishing without the gospel? Unless there is more decided self-denial on the part of those who claim to believe the truth, unless there is more decided faithfulness in bringing all the tithes and offerings into the treasury, unless broader plans are laid than have yet been carried into execution, we shall not fulfill the gospel commission to go into all the world, and preach Christ to every creature.” The Home Missionary, April 1, 1895.



5.a. What will be the glorious result of the gospel commission, and how can we be blessed by taking part in it? Revelation 18:1.

 Note: “All heaven is looking with intense interest upon the church, to see what her individual members are doing to enlighten those who are in darkness. The field is the world, and the openings are so many, the work has so enlarged, that it is beyond the proportion of the means on hand to supply the necessary demands. For years the Lord has been warning His people to bind about their wants, to incur no needless outlay of means. But notwithstanding the counsel of Him who knows the end from the beginning, how needlessly has money been expended. The cautions given have been lightly esteemed, and the minds of men have misinterpreted, turned aside, or wrested the counsel of God, in order that they might follow their own ambitious projects, although by so doing, the very means by which God might have been glorified and honored in extending His truth, is lost to the cause. The Lord has graciously honored man, employing him as the human agent to cooperate with heavenly intelligences, that the light of truth may shine in all parts of the earth. The Lord has His agents who will act a part in the mightiest conflict which the world has ever seen. If the workers remain humble, learning daily, in the school of Christ, meekness and lowliness of heart, the Lord Jesus will work with them. He who is a coworker with Christ will realize that in conferring heavenly benefits on others, he himself will be benefited. He will know that ‘he that watereth shall be watered also himself’ (Proverbs 11:25).” The Review and Herald, February 27, 1894.



1    In what sense is literature limited in its soul-saving ability?

2    What reveals the importance of punctuality in tithing?

3    How may we be in danger of repeating the sin of Judas?

4    What should we consider when deciding how much to give for Christ?

5    How will the world be enlightened—with us or without us?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Biblical Principles of Finance

December 5 – 11, 2021

Key Text

“All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 28:2).

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 70–76; Education, 135–145.


“No man can lay up treasure in heaven without finding his life on earth thereby enriched and ennobled.” Education, 145.



1.a. What may result now and eternally from neglecting the Lord’s cause? Haggai 1:5–11.

Note: “Those who are selfishly withholding their means need not be surprised if God’s hand scatters. That which should have been devoted to the advancement of the work and cause of God, but which has been withheld, may be entrusted to a reckless son, and he may squander it. A fine horse, the pride of a vain heart, may be found dead in the stable. Occasionally a cow may die. Losses of fruit or other crops may come. God can scatter the means He has lent to His stewards, if they refuse to use it to His glory. Some, I saw, may have none of these losses to remind them of their remissness in duty, but their cases may be the more hopeless.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 661, 662.

“The neglect to confess Christ in your account books cuts you off from the great privilege of having your name registered in the Lamb’s book of life.” Our High Calling, 192.

1.b. What should be considered by all who habitually tend to ask help, instead of offering it? Deuteronomy 28:12, 13.



2.a. What does God desire for His people even today? Deuteronomy 28:1–6.

 Note: “The word comes to every believer, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God’ (Isaiah 40:3). Economize in your expenditure of means upon yourself. The first step of self-denial is generally the most difficult, but begin without delay. Your self-denying offerings shall be used in this field to supply workers to give the last message of mercy to a fallen world.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1899.

“It is not God’s purpose that Christians, whose privileges far exceed those of the Jewish nation, shall give less freely than they gave. ‘Unto whomsoever much is given,’ the Saviour declared, ‘of him shall be much required’ (Luke 12:48). The liberality required of the Hebrews was largely to benefit their own nation; today the work of God extends over all the earth. In the hands of His followers, Christ has placed the treasures of the gospel, and upon them He has laid the responsibility of giving the glad tidings of salvation to the world. Surely our obligations are much greater than were those of ancient Israel.” The Acts of the Apostles, 337, 338.

2.b. What promises are assured to all who follow God’s financial plan? Malachi 3:11, 12.

Note: “All may feel that they can act a part in carrying forward the precious work of salvation. Every man, woman, and youth may become a treasurer for the Lord, and may be an agent to meet the demands upon the treasury. Says the apostle, ‘Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him’ (1 Corinthians 16:2).

“Great objects are accomplished by this system. If one and all would accept it, each would be made a vigilant and faithful treasurer for God; and there would be no want of means with which to carry forward the great work of sounding the last message of warning to the world. The treasury will be full if all adopt this system, and the contributors will not be left the poorer. Through every investment made, they will become more wedded to the cause of present truth.” Messages to Young People, 304, 305.



3.a. How can the wise men’s devotion to the Child of Bethlehem serve as an encouragement to us? Matthew 2:1, 2, 11.

 Note: “The magi had been among the first to welcome the Redeemer. Their gift was the first that was laid at His feet. And through that gift, what privilege of ministry was theirs! The offering from the heart that loves, God delights to honor, giving it highest efficiency in service for Him. If we have given our hearts to Jesus, we also shall bring our gifts to Him. Our gold and silver, our most precious earthly possessions, our highest mental and spiritual endowments, will be freely devoted to Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us.” The Desire of Ages, 65.

3.b. What could we learn from Mary’s anointing of Jesus? Mark 14:3.

 Note: “In determining the proportion to be given to the cause of God, be sure to exceed, rather than fall short, of the requirements of duty. Consider for whom the offering is to be made. This recollection will put covetousness to flight. Only consider the great love wherewith Christ has loved us, and our richest offerings will seem unworthy of His acceptance. When Christ is the object of our affections, those who have received His pardoning love will not stop to calculate the value of the alabaster box of precious ointment. Covetous Judas could do this; but the receiver of the gift of salvation will only regret that the offering has not a richer perfume and greater value.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 485.

3.c. How can those who are habitually dependent on charity become like Mary—givers of charity? 2 Thessalonians 3:10–14.

 Note: “If those who have not made life a success were willing to be instructed, they could train themselves to habits of self-denial and strict economy, and have the satisfaction of being distributors, rather than receivers, of charity. There are many slothful servants. If they would do what it is in their power to do they would experience so great a blessing in helping others that they would indeed realize that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35).” Testimonies, vol. 3, 400, 401.



4.a. In proclaiming the gospel, what intensity of purpose should we share with the early Christians? Acts 4:32–37.

 Note: “[Acts 4:34, 35 quoted.] This liberality on the part of the believers was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit. The converts to the gospel were ‘of one heart and of one soul’ (verse 32). One common interest controlled them—the success of the mission entrusted to them; and covetousness had no place in their lives. Their love for their brethren and the cause they had espoused, was greater than their love of money and possessions. Their works testified that they accounted the souls of men of higher value than earthly wealth.

“Thus it will ever be when the Spirit of God takes possession of the life. Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ, will follow the example of Him who for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Money, time, influence—all the gifts they have received from God’s hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel. Thus it was in the early church; and when in the church of today it is seen that by the power of the Spirit the members have taken their affections from the things of the world, and that they are willing to make sacrifices in order that their fellow men may hear the gospel, the truths proclaimed will have a powerful influence upon the hearers.” The Acts of the Apostles, 70, 71.

4.b. What can we learn from Ananias and Sapphira’s artful deceit and its dire consequence? Acts 5:1–11.

 Note: “Desiring to gain a reputation for self-sacrifice, liberality, and devotion to the Christian faith, Ananias and Sapphira sold their property, and laid part of the proceeds at the feet of the apostles, pretending they had given it all. They had not been urged to give all they had to the cause. God would have accepted part. But they desired it to be thought that they had given all. Thus they thought to gain the reputation they coveted, and at the same time keep back part of their money. They thought they had been successful in their scheme; but they were cheating the Lord, and He dealt summarily with this, the first case of deception and falsehood in the newly formed church. He slew them both, as a warning to all of the danger of sacrificing truth to gain favor.” Medical Ministry, 126, 127.



5.a. What must we realize in the operation and financial sustenance of God’s cause in this earth? 1 Corinthians 14:33.

 Note: “He [God] desires His work to be carried forward with thoroughness and exactness so that He may place upon it the seal of His approval. Christian is to be united with Christian, church with church.” The Acts of the Apostles, 96.

5.b. What must we learn from the ways in which God’s faithful people have exemplified self-denial? Hebrews 11:8–10, 24–26, 37–40.

 Note: “There was a time when there were but few who listened to and embraced the truth, and they had not much of this world’s goods. Then it was necessary for some to sell their houses and lands, and obtain cheaper, while their means were freely lent to the Lord to publish the truth, and otherwise aid in advancing the cause of God. These self-sacrificing ones endured privations; but if they endure unto the end, great will be their reward.

“God has been moving upon many hearts. The truth for which a few sacrificed so much has triumphed, and multitudes have laid hold of it. In the providence of God, those who have means have been brought into the truth, that, as the work increases, the wants of His cause may be met. God does not now call for the houses His people need to live in; but if those who have an abundance do not hear His voice, cut loose from the world, and sacrifice for God, He will pass them by, and will call for those who are willing to do anything for Jesus, even to sell their homes to meet the wants of the cause. God will have freewill offerings. Those who give must esteem it a privilege to do so.” Counsels on Stewardship, 215.



1    How can a receiver of charity become its distributor?

2    How should our benevolence compare to that of the ancient Jews?

3    What examples of generosity in Christ’s day should inspire us?

4    What can we learn from the spirit of the early Christian church?

5    How can the self-denial of the pioneers of present truth be revived today?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – God’s Plan to Finance His Work

Faithful Stewardship 2

November 28 – December 4, 2021

Key Text

“We are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 571–575, 645, 646.


“God has made men His stewards. The property which He has placed in their hands is the means that He has provided for the spread of the gospel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 529.



1.a. What is God’s method of perfecting and uniting His scattered sheep? Ephesians 4:11–16.

 Note: “In sending forth His ministers our Saviour gave gifts unto men, for through them He communicates to the world the words of eternal life. This is the means which God has ordained for the perfecting of the saints in knowledge and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 237.

1.b. How does this involve a duty and a privilege for every believer? 1 Corinthians 3:7, 8.

 Note: “The Lord has made the proclamation of the gospel dependent on the consecrated ability and the voluntary gifts and offerings of His people. While He has called men to preach the Word, He has made it the privilege of the whole church to share in the work by contributing of their means to its support.” In Heavenly Places, 303.



2.a. What was the basis of the sin of Nadab and Abihu? Leviticus 10:1, 2.

 Note: “Where, in God’s directions for the support of His work, do we find any mention of bazaars, concerts, fancy fairs, and similar entertainments? Must the Lord’s cause be dependent upon the very things He has forbidden in His word—upon those things that turn the mind away from God, from sobriety, from piety and holiness?

“And what impression is made upon the minds of unbelievers? The holy standard of the word of God is lowered into the dust. Contempt is cast upon God and upon the Christian name. The most corrupt principles are strengthened by this un-Scriptural way of raising means. And this is as Satan would have it. Men are repeating the sin of Nadab and Abihu. They are using common instead of sacred fire in the service of God. The Lord accepts no such offerings.” Counsels on Stewardship, 204, 205.

2.b. What can we learn from the way Moses raised funds—and from the Israelites’ response? Exodus 35:4, 5, 21, 29; 36:3–7.

 Note: “The plan of Moses to raise means for the building of the tabernacle was highly successful. No urging was necessary. Nor did he employ any of the devices to which churches in our day so often resort. He made no grand feast. He did not invite the people to scenes of gaiety, dancing, and general amusement; neither did he institute lotteries, nor anything of this profane order, to obtain means to erect the tabernacle for God. The Lord directed Moses to invite the children of Israel to bring their offerings. He was to accept gifts from everyone that gave willingly, from his heart. And the offerings came in so great abundance that Moses bade the people cease bringing, for they had supplied more than could be used.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 529.

2.c. What should we keep in mind with regard to giving? 2 Corinthians 9:7.

 Note: “Have you brought to God your gifts and offerings out of the abundance He has bestowed upon you? Have you given Him that which He claims as His own? If not, it is not yet too late for you to make the wrong right. The Spirit of Jesus can melt the icy selfishness that pervades the soul.” The Review and Herald, October 13, 1896.



3.a. How may we risk receiving the curse placed on Meroz? Judges 5:23.

 Note: “[Judges 5:23 quoted.] What had Meroz done? Nothing. This was their sin. The curse of God came upon them for what they had not done.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 284.

“The fruits of selfishness always reveal themselves in a neglect of duty, and in a failure to use God’s entrusted gifts for the advancement of His work.” Counsels on Stewardship, 26.

“Only a small amount of means flows into the Lord’s treasury to be appropriated to the saving of souls, and it is with hard labor that even this is obtained. If the eyes of all could be opened to see how prevailing covetousness has hindered the advancement of the work of God, and how much more might have been done had all acted up to God’s plan in tithes and offerings, there would be a decided reform on the part of many; for they would not dare to hinder the work of advancing the cause of God as they have done.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 483.

3.b. What does Scripture teach about personal economy? Proverbs 21:20; John 6:12.

3.c. What does the Christian seek to do when he hears a Macedonian cry today? Acts 16:9, 10.

Note: “Each one should strive to do for Jesus all that it is possible for him to do, by personal effort, by gifts, by sacrifices. There should be meat in the house of the Lord, and that means a full treasury, that responses may be made to Macedonian cries coming from every land. How pitiful it is that we are obliged to say to these who cry for help, ‘We cannot send you men or money. We have an empty treasury.’ ” Counsels on Stewardship, 298.

“We are to place in the Lord’s treasury all the means that we can spare. For this means, needy, unworked fields are calling. From many lands is sounding the cry, ‘Come over, … and help us’ (Acts 16:9). Our church members should feel a deep interest in home and foreign missions. Great blessings will come to them as they make self-sacrificing efforts to plant the standard of truth in new territory. The money invested in this work will bring rich returns.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 49.



4.a. How is tithe to be appropriated? 1 Timothy 5:17, 18.

Note: “The tithe is the Lord’s, and those who meddle with it will be punished with the loss of their heavenly treasure, unless they repent. Let the work no longer be hedged up because the tithe has been diverted into various channels other than the one to which the Lord has said it should go. Provision is to be made for these other lines of work. They are to be sustained, but not from the tithe. God has not changed; the tithe is still to be used for the support of the ministry. The opening of new fields requires more ministerial efficiency than we now have, and there must be means in the treasury.” Gospel Workers, 227, 228.

“If all the professed people of God, both old and young, would do their duty, there would be no dearth in the treasury. If all would pay a faithful tithe and devote to the Lord the first fruits of their increase, there would be a full supply of funds for His work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 385.

4.b. How does David encourage us to be liberal givers? 1 Chronicles 29:10–14.

 Note: “It is God who blesses men with property, and He does this that they may be able to give toward the advancement of His cause. He sends the sunshine and the rain. He causes vegetation to flourish. He gives health and the ability to acquire means. All our blessings come from His bountiful hand. In turn, He would have men and women show their gratitude by returning Him a portion in tithes and offerings—in thank offerings, in freewill offerings, in trespass offerings. Should means flow into the treasury in accordance with this divinely appointed plan—a tenth of all the increase, and liberal offerings—there would be an abundance for the advancement of the Lord’s work.” The Acts of the Apostles, 75.

“Had God’s plan been followed, means would now be flowing into His treasury; and funds to enable ministers to enter new fields, and workers to unite with ministers in lifting up the standard of truth in the dark places of the earth, would be abundant.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 386.



5.a. How do God’s people hasten or delay Christ’s return in the clouds of glory? 2 Peter 3:11, 12.

Note: “Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.” The Desire of Ages, 633, 634.

“The work of God, which should be going forward with tenfold its present strength and efficiency, is kept back, like a spring season held by the chilling blast of winter, because some of God’s professed people are appropriating to themselves the means that should be dedicated to His service. Because Christ’s self-sacrificing love is not interwoven in the life practices, the church is weak where it should be strong. By its own course it has put out its light, and robbed millions of the gospel of Christ.” Counsels on Stewardship, 54.

5.b. What privilege is extended to every believer? 1 Corinthians 3:9.

Note: “God has made men His almoners, copartners with Himself in the great work of advancing His kingdom on the earth; but they may pursue the course pursued by the unfaithful servant, and by so doing lose the most precious privileges ever granted to men. For thousands of years God has worked through human agencies, but at His will He can drop out the selfish, the money-loving, and the covetous. He is not dependent upon our means, and He will not be restricted by the human agent. He can carry on His own work though we act no part in it. But who among us would be pleased to have the Lord do this?” Counsels on Stewardship, 198, 199.



1    What is one way we can help to perfect and unite God’s people?

2    How do wrong methods of raising funds contrast with God’s way?

3    How can little personal expenditures hinder God’s work?

4    What would happen if all cultivated the magnanimity of David?

5    How may we be hastening or delaying our Lord’s return?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Hummus Tahini


Chickpeas are a type of legume, the most widely consumed legume in the world. Also known as garbanzo beans (called such in the Spanish-speaking countries), the most common type has a round shape and a beige color, but other varieties are black, green, or red.

They can be used in salads and stews, cooked and ground into paste to make a dish called hummus. Roasted and properly seasoned, chickpeas can be a crunchy addition to any meal.  The green plant can be eaten as a vegetable. Dried chickpeas need a long, slow cooking time and are ready when they are soft. Soaking chickpeas overnight first can significantly reduce the cooking time.

Research has shown that there is a direct connection between consumption of legumes and lower LDL cholesterol, lower incidences of certain cancers and improved health in diabetics, menopause relief, and weight loss. The fiber content also keeps the digestive tract healthy, and promotes regularity. Chickpeas reduce the appetite by helping you feel full longer after eating. Choline contained in chickpeas helps brain and nervous system function. It plays a role in mood, muscle control, learning, and memory, as well as the body’s metabolism.

Chickpeas are a great source of protein, iron, and other nutrients for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Sources: Medical New Today and

Recipe – Hummus Tahini


2 cups cooked garbanzo beans

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup Sesame Tahini

3 cloves of garlic or ½ tsp. garlic powder

½ to 1 cup liquid from garbanzo beans

Salt to taste


Blend all ingredients well in a blender, adding liquid until desired consistency and smoothness is achieved. Best if blended to consistency of a thick paste, and not runny.

I Came to Fulfill, Not Destroy

Many people today are very confused about what the word love means. They think it refers to sexual passion or a wonderful romantic feeling, but actually, it is a spiritual condition that multitudes of people have not experienced.

There was a time when Moses, the man of God, made a request of the Lord, “Show me Your glory.” Exodus 33:18. The Lord said that he would be allowed to see as much as it was possible for him to see and live (Exodus 33, 34). In Exodus 34 when the Lord answered his prayer, it says, “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.’ ” verses 6, 7, first part. So the Lord on this occasion told Moses what His character is like. The Lord clearly articulated the principle of the kingdom of heaven when He gave the children of Israel His law upon Mount Sinai. That law is an enunciation of the principle of love.

The Bible says repeatedly that the person who has love in his heart will keep the ten commandments (1 John 5:2, 3; Romans 13). The giving of the ten commandments was a reiteration to the children of Israel and to all the peoples of this earth, of the law that governs the kingdom of the heavens. This law was ordained in the hand of a Mediator. It was spoken by Him who has the power to change the hearts of men to bring them into harmony with the divine principles.

God had revealed the purpose of giving this law to the children of Israel before He gave it to them on Mount Sinai (Exodus 22:31). The Lord said to Israel, “You are to be holy men to Me.” The Bible says that no one can see the Lord, and no one can have eternal life if they are not holy (Hebrews 12:14). Without holiness we can never see the Lord.

The trouble was, and still is, that Israel did not perceive the spiritual nature of the law. It was seen as a series of things to do or not to do. Notice what the apostle Paul says in Romans 7:14: “For we know that the law is spiritual.”

Too often Israel’s professed obedience was simply an observance of forms, rituals, or ceremonies and not the surrender of the heart to the sovereignty of love. When Jesus Christ came to this earth, He represented to men what God is like in His character, His work, and His teachings, His holiness, His benevolence, and His paternal attributes. At the same time, He presented to them the worthlessness of mere ceremonial obedience. But when He did these things, the Jewish leaders did not understand what He was talking about, thinking He dwelt too lightly upon the requirements of the law, when He actually was setting before them the foundational principles on which the law is based.

Since these rulers were only looking at the externals and not at the principles underlying them, Jesus was accused of trying to overthrow the law. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus revealed in unmistakable language that this was not at all His purpose. He says in Matthew 5:17, 18: “Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

Notice that it is Jesus Christ, the Creator of mankind, who is speaking. The Bible says very clearly that He created the world and upholds everything by the word of His power. He gave the law on Mount Sinai. He declared that it was not His purpose to set aside any of the precepts of the law, not even the smallest part of a letter of the law. When we study science or nature, whether something under a microscope or something in the heavens through a telescope, we know that everything in the natural world is under a law. Upon obedience to these natural laws, the order and the harmony of the natural world depend.

In the same way that there are laws that govern nature, there are also great principles of righteousness that control the lives of all created beings. And upon conformity to these righteous principles, the well-being of the entire universe depends. Before this world was ever called into existence, God’s law existed. The angels of heaven were governed by it and for the inhabitants of the earth to be in harmony with heaven, man also must be obedient to the divine statutes.

Psalm 103:20 says that the angels obey God’s commandments. To man in Eden, Christ made known the precepts of the law. When Jesus came to earth, He made it clear that His mission was not to destroy the law, or even part of it. His purpose was, by His grace, to bring man back into obedience to the precepts of the law of God. The beloved apostle John, who listened as Jesus spoke these words on the Mount, writing many decades later under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, described this law as a perpetual obligation saying, “Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4, and that whoever commits sin transgresses also the law. He makes it very clear that this law is not some new commandment. This law existed from the beginning (1 John 2:7), at creation, and was later reiterated on Mount Sinai.

Study the book of Genesis, and you will find that the people of that time understood the ten commandments and knew that to violate those principles was wrong and worthy of death. They called the breaking of these principles sin. I encourage you to read through the book of Genesis and write down every time one of the principles of the ten commandments is mentioned.

So speaking of the law, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17. He uses the word fulfill in the same sense that He said to John the Baptist, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness [that is, fulfill the measure of the law’s requirement, to give an example of perfect conformity to the will of God].” Matthew 3:15

In the Old Testament we see the prophetic mission of the Messiah was to magnify the law, to make it honorable (Isaiah 42:21) and to show mankind its spiritual nature, to present its far-reaching principles and to make plain its eternal obligation. We see that Jesus does this in His sermon. He names the different commandments and shows that they extend not merely to outward observances, what you do or don’t do, but also to the heart and mind.

When we look at the character of Jesus, we see there a divine beauty, of whom the most noble, the most gentle among mankind are but a faint reflection. Concerning His character, the wise man Solomon wrote in prophecy concerning Him, that He is “chief among ten thousand. Yes, He is altogether lovely.” Song of Solomon 5:10, 16

When David saw Him in prophetic vision, he wrote, “You are fairer than the sons of men.” Psalm 45:2. Jesus is spoken of in the New Testament as the express image of the Father’s person, the brightness of His glory (Hebrews 1:3). And the self-denying Redeemer, throughout all of His pilgrimage of love on earth, was a living representation of the character of the law of God. To keep the law of God in its purpose and intent from the heart is to reveal the character of Jesus Christ. He said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” John 15:10. He also said, “I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29

Jesus made manifest in this world what heaven-born love is like and how it reveals itself. Christlike principles underlie the principles of the ten commandments. He said, “[T]ill heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle [that is, part of a letter] will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18. In His own life and character, He showed the unchangeable nature of God’s law. He proved that by His grace God’s law can be perfectly obeyed by every son and daughter of Adam. He said, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17

Jesus proved and taught that the law of God, the ten commandments, are unchangeable and will last forever. He did not teach that the law would be repealed or lose any of its authority, or that He had come to do away with it because the law of the Lord is perfect and it cannot be changed.

So long as heaven and earth continue, the holy principles of God’s law will remain.

It is impossible for sinful men, in themselves, to meet the standard of the law’s requirement. The apostle Paul said, “[T]he law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:14. That is why you and I need the gospel. That is why Jesus came as our Redeemer. It was His mission, not only to pay the price in His own body for our sins, but to make us partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3, 4). It was His mission to bring us back into harmony with the law that governs the entire universe.

When we forsake our sins, when we choose to quit breaking God’s law and come to Jesus, and we see and accept Him as our Saviour from sin, as the Lord of our life, then the law is not done away with, but exalted. He then gives to us the Holy Spirit and enables us, by His grace and power, to live a life that is in harmony with His law. The apostle Paul says in Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” How is the law established? When a person repents of his sin and chooses to forsake it, he realizes that he needs to come into harmony with the law that governs the whole universe of God, and Jesus gives him the Holy Spirit, enabling him to keep that law (Romans 8). Hebrews 10:16 says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” But you must take care, because if you receive the Holy Spirit and do not obey God, then you are insulting the Holy Spirit.

Now it is true that the systems of types and ceremonies that pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world would pass away at His death, but the principles of righteousness embodied in the ten commandments are just as unchangeable as God’s throne. Not one command has ever been annulled. Not one precept has been changed. Those principles were made known to man in paradise as the great law of life and those principles will exist unchanged in paradise restored. When Eden again blooms on the earth, God’s law of love will be observed by all.

Think of this: the seventh commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery.” It is one of the most widely broken commandments all over the world today. But even before the ten commandments were ever given, the people in the time of Genesis knew that it was wrong to commit adultery.

Joseph was a slave manager in Potiphar’s house, and the Bible says, “It came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?’ So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.” Genesis 39:7–10

As a result of his refusal to commit adultery, Joseph was thrown into prison. He would rather go to prison an innocent man than commit adultery. He said, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

The Bible says that in heaven, God’s word is forever settled (Psalm 119:89). Nobody in heaven has any question about God’s law. Psalm 111:7, last part, 8, says, “All His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.”

Psalm 119:152 says, “Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.” If you really love God, you will keep His commandments. The apostle John says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7, 8

How do you know that you really love God? First John 5:2, 3 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

The same problem existed in the days of the apostle John that we see in the Christian world today. People said that they loved God, but they hated their neighbor and they did not keep His commandments. John says in 1 John 3:7–11, “Little children, let no one deceive you [on this point]. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning.”

Oh, friend, is the love of God truly in your heart today?

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 Nugget – Gratitude

How can I sing praises when things are so bad?

“It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.”

The scientific evidence is conclusive when it comes to mood, outlook, and health. Happy people live 7–10 years longer than unhappy people. Additionally, optimistic people have a 77% lower risk of heart disease than pessimistic people. But how can you be happier and more optimistic in the world we live in today?

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” we are often told. And while it can be hard to avoid self-pity entirely, mentally strong people choose to exchange self-pity for gratitude.

Gratitude is more than just an adjective. It is a habit and practice that may actually change your perception of well-being. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Rather than complain about the things we think we deserve, we should take a few moments to focus on all that we have. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

“Gratitude is good medicine,” says Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and author of The Little Book of Gratitude.

“Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life. …”

It appears that being grateful is the gift that seriously keeps on giving.

Here’s a simple way to get started:

Write these down before you go to bed or share them around the dinner table. In five minutes, you can practice gratitude from the heart.

  1. Health: What did your body do for you today?

Did you know you take about eight million breaths a year? Your feet can take you up a mountain; your arms can hold someone you love. Take a minute to marvel at the finely-tuned machinery of your body, and be thankful for the steps you take every day to keep it safe and healthy.

  1. Eat: What did you feed your body to nourish yourself today?

Was it an old favorite, something you made or something new and different? If you eat three meals a day, you’ll eat about a thousand meals this year! Take a minute to savor something especially yummy.

  1. Activity: What did you do that you really enjoyed today?

Did you give it your all when exercising, did you finally finish that craft project you started a while ago or did you find a quiet moment while sitting in traffic to reflect? Take a minute to think back on one particularly awesome moment.

  1. Relationship: To whom do you look forward to connecting with?

Is it someone who always has a smile for you, has your back or makes you laugh until you cry, or maybe someone you haven’t seen in a long time? Take a minute to smile as you think about this special person.

  1. Time: What are you doing right now?

Every single day you wake up with 24 brand new hours. The past is history, the future is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present! Take a minute to be thankful for the gift of time.

As God’s children, we will want to appreciate the gifts that He has given to us. Daily we will express our gratitude to Him.

“Gratitude, rejoicing, benevolence, trust in God’s love and care—these are health’s greatest safeguard.

“The power of the will and the importance of self-control, both in the preservation and in the recovery of health, the depressing and even ruinous effect of anger, discontent, selfishness, or impurity, and, on the other hand, the marvelous life-giving power to be found in cheerfulness, unselfishness, gratitude, should also be shown.

“There is a physiological truth—truth that we need to consider—in the scripture, ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.’ Proverbs 17:22

“The true principles of Christianity open before all a source of inestimable happiness.

“We should encourage a cheerful, hopeful, peaceful frame of mind; for our health depends upon our so doing.” My Life Today, 151

Sources:;; and Psychology Today. Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

 Judy Rebarchek is a member of the LandMarks team. She can be contacted at:

Question – What does it mean to be unequally yoked?


What does it mean to be unequally yoked?


“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

Imagine two oxen yoked together. One larger, more mature, accustomed to the yoke after many years of service in it; the other, younger, new to the yoke with little experience. How well do these two very different oxen work together? Does the young ox yield to the leading of the experienced ox or does it fight the yoke, determined to have its own way?

If we are yoked with the world, then we cannot be yoked up with Christ. Ellen White writes, “All combinations with unbelievers that bind as a yoke must be broken.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 108. These words apply to any association with an unbeliever that gives them a prevailing influence over us.

“When we accepted Christ as our Redeemer, we accepted the condition of becoming laborers together with God. We made a covenant with Him to be wholly for the Lord. … Every follower of Christ stands pledged to dedicate all his powers, of mind and soul and body, to Him who has paid the ransom money for our soul.

“In your connection with worldly societies, are you keeping your covenant with God? …

“Are you serving, honoring, and magnifying God, or are you dishonoring Him and sinning against Him? Are you gathering with Christ or scattering abroad?” Evangelism, 618

If we are yoked with Christ, He will guide and teach us what we need to know to labor with Him. Our experience may be small and we may have much to learn. For our part, we may be weaker, but if we do our best and follow His lead, His strength will augment our weakness until we are able to follow Him wholly and completely.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29

Nature – Frost Flowers

Take a walk in the early morning, in the late fall or early winter, at or after the first hard freeze and you just might see a frost flower.

Frost flowers are a group of delicate clusters of ice crystals that form directly from water vapor. They are produced when freezing weather conditions are present, but the ground is not yet frozen. The water in certain plant stems begins to freeze and expand, resulting in long, thin cracks along the length of the stem. Through a process called “capillary action” (the ability of water to flow in narrow spaces without assistance), water is drawn through these cracks and freezes upon contact with the frigid air. The form the flower takes depends on where the slits are in the stem and the amount of pressure exerted, so each flower is unique.

Interesting side note: Leonardo di Vinci was the first to record the observation of capillary action.

As more water is drawn through the cracks, the thin ice layers are pushed farther from the stem resulting in the formation of a thin “petal.”

Another form of frost flower is called needle ice. These are needle-shaped columns of ice formed by groundwater when the soil temperature is above freezing, but the surface air temperature is below freezing. In the same capillary action, water is forced up out of the ground, growing into these needle-like columns.

Frost flowers are very delicate and will break when touched.  They melt when exposed to sunlight and are found in shaded areas in the early morning hours.

Frost flowers aren’t found everywhere, but can be found where annual plants with thin stems such as frostweed are found.

A frost flower is created by the internal pressures and forces exerted upon its host plant. It is fragile, short-lived. Neither it nor the host plant survive the winter’s “death” and will not live again in the spring. But we are placed under divine pressure so that those things that must be removed from our lives, enabling us to “die” and be born again into a beautiful new creation, can be accomplished.

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 NASB

Sources: Wikipedia and

Keys to the Storehouse – Be Thankful

At this time of thanksgiving, let’s look at what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say regarding thankfulness.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Educate the soul to cheerfulness, to thankfulness, and to the expression of gratitude to God for the great love wherewith He hath loved us.” Child Guidance, 146

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34

“Come to the Lord with hearts overflowing with thankfulness for past and present mercies, and manifest your appreciation of God’s bounties by bringing to Him your thank offerings, your freewill offerings, and your trespass offerings.” The Review and Herald, January 4, 1881

“… giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

“Of all things that are sought, cherished, and cultivated, there is nothing so valuable in the sight of God as a pure heart, a disposition imbued with thankfulness and peace.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 559

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” Psalm 103:2

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and a great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:1–3

“I love the Lord. … I love Him because He first loved me. He gave His life for me. … It seemed to me that we should have praise seasons, and that constantly our hearts should be filled so full with thankfulness to God, that they would overflow in words of praise and deeds of love. We should cultivate a spirit of thankfulness.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 234

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

In joy or in sorrow, we have so much to be thankful for. Our God has prepared a way that we might once again be united with Him as His children. He supplies all our needs. He comforts, He forgives, He loves.

Dear Lord, let this be our prayer, “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100