The Substance of Moral Character

Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you. 2 Corinthians 10:15.

You should keep off from Satan’s enchanted ground and not allow your minds to be swayed from allegiance to God. 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…. 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….

Dear Sister F, you have a diseased imagination; and you dishonor God by allowing your feelings to have complete control of your reason and judgment. You have a determined will, which causes the mind to react upon the body, unbalancing the circulation and producing congestion in certain organs; and you are sacrificing health to your feelings.

You are making a mistake, which, if not corrected, will not end with wrecking your own happiness merely. You are doing positive injury, not only to yourself, but to the other members of your family…. You have … let your highly wrought imagination control reason…. Had you no power over your feelings, this would not be sin; but it will not answer thus to yield to the enemy. Your will needs to be sanctified and subdued instead of being arrayed in opposition to that of God….

Man has been placed in a world of sorrow, care, and perplexity. He is placed here to be tested and proved, as were Adam and Eve, that he may develop a right character and bring harmony out of discord and confusion. There is much for us to do that is essential…. And there is much for us to enjoy. Through Christ we are brought into connection with God. His mercies place us under continual obligation; feeling unworthy of His favors, we are to appreciate even the least of them.

The Lust for Nakedness

Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28.

Many of the young are eager for books. They read everything they can obtain. Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. Novels are eagerly perused by many, and, as the result, their imagination becomes defiled. In the cars, photographs of females in a state of nudity are frequently circulated for sale. These disgusting pictures are … hung upon the walls of those who deal in engravings. This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions. Then follow sins and crimes which drag beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the beasts, sinking them at last in perdition. Avoid reading and seeing things which will suggest impure thoughts. Cultivate the moral and intellectual powers. Let not these noble powers become enfeebled and perverted by much reading of even storybooks….

It is impossible for the youth to possess a healthy tone of mind and correct religious principles unless they enjoy the perusal of the word of God. This book contains the most interesting history, points out the way of salvation through Christ, and is their guide to a higher and better life. They would all pronounce it the most interesting book they ever perused, if their imagination had not become perverted by exciting stories of a fictitious character. You who are looking for your Lord to come the second time to change your mortal bodies, and to fashion them like unto His most glorious body, must come up upon a higher plane of action. You must work from a higher standpoint than you have hitherto done, or you will not be of that number who will receive the finishing touch of immortality.

Image result for lust for nakedness man and woman

The Secret of Progress

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8.

We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and fervent than in those early days. Our perils are greater now than then.

It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth-life received wisdom and power. Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven. And throughout the day let them lift up their hearts to God. At every step of our way He says, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand; … fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13. Could our children learn this lesson in the morning of their years, what freshness and power, what joy and sweetness, would be brought into their lives!

Let your heart break for the longing it has for God, for the living God. The life of Christ has shown what humanity can do by being partaker of the divine nature. All that Christ received from God we too may have. Then ask and receive. With the persevering faith of Jacob, with the unyielding persistence of Elijah, claim for yourself all that God has promised.

Let the glorious conceptions of God possess your mind. Let your life be knit by hidden links to the life of Jesus. He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness is willing to shine in your heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will take the things of God and show them unto you…. Christ will lead you to the threshold of the Infinite. You may behold the glory beyond the veil, and reveal to men the sufficiency of Him who ever liveth to make intercession for us.

Image result for trust God

Wrestling with God to Victory

Image result for wrestling with God

Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. Ezekiel 14:20.

Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealings with Jacob that He will in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. The more exalted their profession and the more honorable the position which they hold, the more grievous is their course in the sight of God….

Jacob’s history is also an assurance that God will not cast off those who have been deceived and tempted and betrayed into sin, but who have returned unto Him with true repentance. While Satan seeks to destroy this class, God will send His angels to comfort and protect them in the time of peril.

The assaults of Satan are fierce and determined, his delusions are terrible; but the Lord’s eye is upon His people, and His ear listens to their cries. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but the Refiner will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial, is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.

The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it.

Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God….

If the messengers who bear the last solemn warning to the world would pray … fervently and in faith, as did Jacob, they would find many places where they could say: “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:30). They would be accounted of heaven as princes, having power to prevail with God and men.—The Great Controversy, 620-622.

God Alone can Renew the Heart

Image result for god renews heart

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13.

Far more than we do, we need to understand the issues at stake in the conflict in which we are engaged. We need to understand more fully the value of the truths that God has given for this time and the danger of allowing our minds to be diverted from them by the great deceiver.

The infinite value of the sacrifice required for our redemption reveals the fact that sin is a tremendous evil. Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil.

As the sacrifice in our behalf was complete, so our restoration from the defilement of sin is to be complete. There is no act of wickedness that the law will excuse; there is no unrighteousness that will escape its condemnation. The life of Christ was a perfect fulfillment of every precept of the law. He said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10). His life is our standard of obedience and service.

God alone can renew the heart. “It is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, A.R.V.). But we are bidden: “Work out your own salvation” (verse 12, A.R.V.).

Wrongs cannot be righted, nor can reformations in character be made, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts…. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown.

The strongest evidence of man’s fall from a higher state is the fact that it costs so much to return. The way of return can be gained only by hard fighting, inch by inch, every hour. By a momentary act of the will, one may place himself in the power of evil; but it requires more than a momentary act of will to break these fetters and attain to a higher, holier life. The purpose may be formed, the work begun; but its accomplishment will require toil, time, and perseverance, patience and sacrifice.

Beset with temptations without number, we must resist firmly or be conquered…. Paul’s sanctification was the result of a constant conflict with self. He said: “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his own nature. God leads His people on step by step.

We are to Reflect Christ’s Love

Image result for agapeImage result for discipleship

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. John 20:21.

We should earnestly seek to know and appreciate the truth, that we may present it to others as it is in Jesus. We need to have a correct estimate of the value of our own souls; then we would not be as reckless in regard to our course of action as at present. We would seek most earnestly to know God’s way; we would work an opposite direction from selfishness, and our constant prayer would be that we might have the mind of Christ, that we might be molded and fashioned after His likeness. It is in looking to Jesus and beholding His loveliness, having our eyes steadfastly fixed upon Him, that we become changed into His image. He will give grace to all that keep His way, and do His will, and walk in truth….

I beseech you whose names are registered on the church book as worthy members, to be indeed worthy, through the virtue of Christ. Mercy and truth and the love of God are promised to the humble and contrite soul….

All heaven is filled with amazement, that when this love, so broad, so deep, so rich and full, is presented to men who have known the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, they are so indifferent, so cold and unmoved….

The infinite treasures of truth have been accumulating from age to age. No representation could adequately impress us with the extent, the richness, of these vast resources. They are awaiting the demand of those who appreciate them. These gems of truth are to be gathered up by God’s remnant people, to be given by them to the world; but self-confidence and obduracy of soul refuse the blessed treasure. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Such love cannot be measured, neither can it be expressed. John calls upon the world to behold “what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” It is a love that passeth knowledge.

In the fullness of the sacrifice, nothing was withheld. Jesus gave Himself. God designs that His people shall love one another as Christ loved us. They are to educate and train the soul for this love. They are to reflect this love in their own character, to reflect it to the world. Each should look upon this as his work…. Christ’s fullness is to be presented to the world by those who have become partakers of His grace. They are to do that for Christ which Christ did for the Father—represent His character.

True Character Radiates from Within

 

Image result for light of the worldYe are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14.

“Ye are the light of the world.” The Jews thought to confine the benefits of salvation to their own nation; but Christ showed them that salvation is like the sunshine. It belongs to the whole world. The religion of the Bible is not to be confined between the covers of a book, nor within the walls of a church. It is not to be brought out occasionally for our own benefit, and then to be carefully laid aside again. It is to sanctify the daily life, to manifest itself in every business transaction and in all our social relations.

True character is not shaped from without, and put on; it radiates from within. If we wish to direct others in the path of righteousness, the principles of righteousness must be enshrined in our own hearts. Our profession of faith may proclaim the theory of religion, but it is our practical piety that holds forth the word of truth. The consistent life, the holy conversation, the unswerving integrity, the active, benevolent spirit, the godly example—these are the mediums through which light is conveyed to the world.

As the sun goes forth on its errand of love, dispelling the shades of night and awakening the world to life, so the followers of Christ are to go forth on their mission, diffusing the light of heaven upon those who are in the darkness of error and sin.

In the brilliant light of the morning, the towns and villages upon the surrounding hills stood forth clearly, making an attractive feature of the scene. Pointing to them, Jesus said, “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” And He added, “Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house” (Matthew 5:14, 15, R.V.).

Most of those who listened to the words of Jesus were peasants and fishermen whose lowly dwellings contained but one room, in which the single lamp on its stand shone to all in the house. Even so, said Jesus, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (verse 16).

No other light ever has shone or ever will shine upon fallen man save that which emanates from Christ. Jesus, the Saviour, is the only light that can illuminate the darkness of a world lying in sin. Of Christ it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). It was by receiving of His life that His disciples could become light bearers. The life of Christ in the soul, His love revealed in the character, would make them the light of the world.

Witnessing by Our Actions

Image result for helping other

Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9.

Again and again I am instructed to charge our people with their individual responsibility to work, and believe, and pray. The reception of Bible truth will lead to continual self-denial; for self-indulgence can never be found in a Christlike experience. Truly converted men and women will reveal the cross of Calvary in their daily actions. There are many Seventh-day Adventists who do not understand that to accept the cause of Christ means to accept His cross. The only evidence they give in their lives of their discipleship is in the name they bear. But the true Christian regards his stewardship as a sacred thing. He perseveringly studies the Word, and yields up his life to the service of Christ.

The word of encouragement is given, “Be not weary in well doing,” “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” There is a world to be saved, a work to be done that can be accomplished only by the proclamation of the gospel message. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Should we not thank the Lord with heart and soul for His unspeakable gift? Should we not be willing to devote every capability and talent to the work of representing Christ before the world? …

“Good works” will begin to appear when the experience of repentance and conversion is brought into the life…. It is … by showing that we are changed in character, through a belief of the truth, that we make known to others the transforming power of the grace of God.

“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:6, 7). Wonderful truth! This is a two-edged sword which cuts both ways. This life and death question is before the whole human race. The choice we make in this life will be our choice through all eternity. We shall receive either eternal life or eternal death. There is no middle ground, no second probation.

We are called upon to overcome in this life as Christ overcame. Heaven has provided us with abundant opportunities and privileges, so that we may overcome as Christ overcame, and sit down with Him on His throne. But in order to be overcomers, there must be in our lives no petting of fleshly inclinations. All selfishness must be cut out by the roots….

The more the heart is wrapped up in Christ, the more secure is the treasure in the eternal world

We Shall Reap What We Have Sown

Image result for reap what you sow

The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. 2 Timothy 2:24.

Those who are truly connected with God will not be at variance with one another. The spirit of harmony, peace, and love, His Spirit ruling in their hearts, will create harmony, love, and unity. The opposite of this works in the children of Satan; there is with them a continual contradiction. Strife and envy and jealousy are the ruling elements. The characteristic of the Christian is the meekness of Christ. Benevolence, kindness, mercy, and love originate from Infinite Wisdom, while the opposite is the unholy fruit of a heart that is not in harmony with Jesus Christ….

What a work is this—the education of children! … If the parents had studied more of Christ and less of the world, if they had cared less to imitate the customs and fashions of the present age, and devoted time and painstaking effort to mold the minds and characters of their children after the divine Model, then they could send them forth with moral integrity to be carried forward in the branches of education to qualify them for any position of trust….

The harvest is ours, to reap that which we have sown. If you sow distrust, envy, jealousy, self-love, bitterness of thought and feelings, this harvest you will be sure to reap. This will be a sowing of dragon’s teeth to reap the same.

If you manifest kindness, love, tender thoughtfulness to your students, you will reap the same in return. If teachers are severe, critical, overbearing, not sensitive of others’ feelings, they will receive the same in return. A man who wishes to preserve his self-respect and dignity must be careful not to sacrifice the respect and dignity of others. This rule should be sacredly observed toward the dullest, the youngest, and most blundering scholars.

What God will do with these apparently uninteresting youth, you do not know. God has accepted and chosen, in the past, just such specimens to do a great work for Him. His Spirit, operating upon the heart, has acted like an electric battery, arousing the apparently benumbed faculties to vigorous and persevering action. The Lord saw in these rough, uninteresting, unhewn stones precious metal that will endure the test of storm and tempest and the fiery ordeal of heat. God seeth not as man seeth; God judgeth not as man judgeth—He searcheth the heart….

The younger members of the Lord’s family shall be impressed that they are created in the image of their Maker, and that their spirit must represent the spirit of Christ.

The Lord Knows All the Thoughts

Related image

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee. 1 Chronicles 28:9.

You should keep off from Satan’s enchanted ground and not allow your minds to be swayed from allegiance to God. 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….

Man has been placed in a world of sorrow, care, and perplexity. He is placed here to be tested and proved, as were Adam and Eve, that he may develop a right character and bring harmony out of discord and confusion. There is much for us to do that is essential to our own happiness and that of others. And there is much for us to enjoy. Through Christ we are brought into connection with God. His mercies place us under continual obligation; feeling unworthy of His favors, we are to appreciate even the least of them.

For all that you have and are, … you are indebted to God. He has given you powers that, to a certain extent, are similar to those which He Himself possesses; and you should labor earnestly to develop these powers, not to please and exalt self, but to glorify Him….

This earth is the Lord’s. Here it may be seen that nature, animate and inanimate, obeys His will. God created man a superior being; he alone is formed in the image of God and is capable of partaking of the divine nature, of cooperating with his Creator and executing His plans…. How wonderfully, with what marvelous beauty, has everything in nature been fashioned. Everywhere we see the perfect works of the great Master Artist. The heavens declare His glory; and the earth, which is formed for the happiness of man, speaks to us of His matchless love…. I call your attention to these blessings from the bounteous hand of God. Let the fresh glories of each new morning awaken praise in your hearts for these tokens of His loving care.

Discipline Prepares Youth for High Destiny

Image result for discipline

When wisdom entereth into thine heart and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. Proverbs 2:10, 11.

Now, as in the days of Israel, every youth should be instructed in the duties of practical life. Each should acquire a knowledge of some branch of manual labour by which, if need be, he may obtain a livelihood. This is essential, not only as a safeguard against the vicissitudes of life, but from its bearing upon physical, mental, and moral development. Even if it were certain that one would never need to resort to manual labour for his support, still he should be taught to work. Without physical exercise, no one can have a sound constitution and vigorous health; and the discipline of well-regulated labour is no less essential to the securing of a strong and active mind and a noble character…

Let the youth be led to understand the object of their creation, to honour God and bless their fellow men; let them see the tender love which the Father in heaven has manifested toward them, and the high destiny for which the discipline of this life is to prepare them, the dignity and honour to which they are called, even to become the sons of God, and thousands would turn with contempt and loathing from the low and selfish aims and the frivolous pleasures that have hitherto engrossed them. They would learn to hate sin and to shun it, not merely from a hope of reward or fear of punishment, but from a sense of its inherent baseness, because it would be a degrading of their God-given powers, a stain upon their Godlike manhood…

The elements of character that make a man successful and honoured among men—the irrepressible desire for some greater good, the indomitable will, the strenuous exertion, the untiring perseverance—are not to be crushed out. By the grace of God, they are to be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.

And the education begun in this life will be continued in the life to come. Day by day the wonderful works of God, the evidences of His wisdom and power in creating and sustaining the universe, the infinite mystery of love and wisdom in the plan of redemption, will open to the mind in new beauty… Even in this life we may catch glimpses of His presence and may taste the joy of communion with heaven, but the fullness of its joy and blessing will be reached in the hereafter. Eternity alone can reveal the glorious destiny to which man, restored to God’s image, can attain.

When Infirmities Come, Trust in God

Image result for trust in god

The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2, 3.

Now when you can no longer be active, and infirmities press upon you, all that God requires of you is to trust Him. Commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. His mercies are sure, His covenant is everlasting. Happy is the man whose hope is in the Lord his God, who keepeth truth forever. Let your mind grasp the promises and hold to them. If you cannot call to mind readily the rich assurance contained in the precious promises, listen to them from the lips of another. What fullness, what love and assurance are found in these words from the lips of God Himself, proclaiming His Love, His pity and interest in the children of His care:

“The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Exodus 34:6, 7).

The Lord is full of compassion for His suffering ones. What sins are too great for His pardon? He is merciful, and as such is infinitely more ready and more pleased to pardon than to condemn. He is gracious, not looking for wrong in us; He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are but dust. In His boundless compassion and mercy, He heals all our backslidings, loving us freely while we are yet sinners, withdrawing not His light, but shining on us for Christ’s sake.

Will you … always trust in Jesus, who is your righteousness? The love of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which is graciously given unto you. You are one with Christ. He will give you the grace to be patient, He will give you the grace to be trustful, He will give you the grace to overcome restlessness, He will warm your heart with His own sweet Spirit, He will revive your soul in its weakness. Only a few days more to be as pilgrims and strangers in this world, seeking for a better country, even a heavenly. Our home is in heaven. Then stay your soul in confidence upon God. Roll all your burdens upon Him.

Oh, how many times has your heart been touched with the beauty of the Saviour’s countenance, charmed with the loveliness of His character, and subdued with the thought of His suffering? Now He wants you to lean your whole weight upon Him… “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12:1, 2).

Image result for trust in god

Jesus Willed Us Peace

Image result for peace of God

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27.

Before our Lord went to His agony on the cross, He made His will. He had no silver or gold or houses to leave to His disciples. He was a poor man, as far as earthly possessions were concerned. Few in Jerusalem were so poor as He. But He left His disciples a richer gift than any earthly monarch could bestow on his subjects. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you,” He said; “not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

He left them the peace which had been His during His life on the earth, which had been with Him amidst poverty, buffeting, and persecution, and which was to be with Him during His agony in Gethsemane and on the cruel cross.

The Saviour’s life on this earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace. While angry enemies were constantly pursuing Him, He said, “He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” No storm of satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, “My peace I give unto you.”

Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence, there is perfect rest. The Lord says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”…

Every man’s experience testifies to the truth of the words of Scripture: “The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest.”… Sin has destroyed our peace… The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control. We are as helpless here as were the disciples to quiet the raging storm. But He who spoke peace to the billows of Galilee has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, “Lord, save us,” will find deliverance. His grace, which reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of human passion, and in His love, the heart is at rest. “He maketh the storm a calm so that the waves thereof are still… So he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”…

The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.

Parents to Teach Obedience

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Ephesians 6:1.

The children are to be taught that their capabilities were given to them for the honor and glory of God. To this end they must learn the lesson of obedience; for only through lives of willing obedience can they render to God the service He requires. Before the child is old enough to reason, he must be taught to obey. By gentle, persistent effort, the habit should be established…

Let children be shown that true reverence is revealed by obedience. God has commanded nothing that is unessential, and there is no other way of manifesting reverence so pleasing to Him as by obedience to that which He has spoken.

The mother is the queen of the home, and the children are her subjects. She is to rule her household wisely, in the dignity of her motherhood… Tell your children exactly what you require of them. Then let them understand that your word must be obeyed. Thus you are training them to respect the commandments of God, which plainly declare, “Thou shalt,” and “Thou shalt not.”

Few parents begin early enough to teach their children to obey. The child is usually allowed to get two or three years the start of its parents, who forbear to discipline it, thinking it too young to learn to obey. But all this time self is growing strong in the little being, and every day makes harder the parent’s task of gaining control. At a very early age children can comprehend what is plainly and simply told them, and by kind and judicious management can be taught to obey. Never should they be allowed to show their parents disrespect. Self-will should never be permitted to go unrebuked. The future well-being of the child requires kindly, loving, but firm discipline…

Wise parents will not say to their children, “Follow your own choice; go where you will, and do what you will”; but, “Listen to the instruction of the Lord.” Wise rules and regulations must be made and enforced, that the beauty of the home life may not be spoiled…

Children will be happier, far happier, under proper discipline than if left to do as their unrestrained impulses suggest. A child’s truest graces consist in modesty and obedience—inattentive ears to hear the words of direction, in willing feet and hands to walk and work in the path of duty…

Above all things, parents should surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love. A home where love dwells and where it finds expression in looks, in words, in acts, is a place where angels delight to dwell

Image result for obedience

Christ, the Wife and Mother’s Strength

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Proverbs 31:28.

It is true that the wheels of domestic machinery will not always run smoothly; there is much to try the patience and tax the strength. But while mothers are not responsible for circumstances over which they have no control, it is useless to deny that circumstances make a great difference with mothers in their lifework. But their condemnation is when circumstances are allowed to rule and to subvert their principle, when they grow tired and unfaithful to their high trust, and neglect their known duty.

The wife and mother who nobly overcomes difficulties, under which others sink for want of patience and fortitude to persevere, not only becomes strong herself in doing her duty, but her experience in overcoming temptations and obstacles qualifies her to be an effective help to others, both by words and example. Many who do well under favorable circumstances seem to undergo a transformation of character under adversity and trial; they deteriorate in proportion to their troubles. God never designed that we should be the sport of circumstances…

[The true wife and mother] will perform her duties with dignity and cheerfulness, not considering that it is degrading to do with her own hands whatever is necessary for her to do in a well-ordered household. If she looks to God for her strength and comfort, and in His wisdom and fear seeks to do her daily duty, she will bind her husband to her heart, and see her children coming to maturity, honorable men and women, having moral stamina to follow the example of their mother.

There is no chance to work in this life; the harvest will determine the character of the seed that has been sown…

Mothers, you are developing character. Your compassionate Redeemer is watching you in love and sympathy, ready to hear your prayers, and render you the assistance which you need in your lifework. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith, and charity are the elements of the Christlike character. These precious graces are the fruits of the Spirit. They are the Christian’s crown and shield. The highest daydreaming and most exalted aspirations can aim at nothing higher. Nothing can give more perfect content and satisfaction.

These heavenly attainments are not dependent upon circumstances, nor the will or imperfect judgment of man. The precious Saviour, who understands our heart struggles and the weaknesses of our natures, pities, and forgives us our errors, and bestows upon us the graces which we earnestly desire.

Image result for african mother and child

Fathers to Spend Time with Children

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.

While we have dwelt upon the importance of the mother’s work and mission, we would not lightly pass over the duty and responsibility of the husband and father in the training of his children. His efforts should be in harmony with those of the God-fearing mother. He should manifest his love and respect for her as the woman he has chosen and the mother of his children…

Fathers should … mingle with the children, sympathizing with them in their little troubles, binding them to their hearts by the strong bonds of love, and establishing such an influence over their expanding minds that their counsel will be regarded as sacred…

Upon returning home from his business he should find it a pleasant change to spend some time with his children. He may take them into the garden, and show them the opening buds, and the varied tints of the blooming flowers. Through such mediums, he may give them the most important lessons concerning the Creator, by opening before them the great book of nature, where the love of God is expressed in every tree, and flower, and blade of grass. He may impress upon their minds the fact that if God cares so much about the trees and flowers, He will care much more about the creatures formed in His image. He may lead them early to understand that God wants children to be lovely, not with artificial adornment, but with the beauty of character, the charms of kindness and affection, which will make their hearts bound with joy and happiness.

Parents may do much to connect their children with God by encouraging them to love the things of nature which He has given them and to recognize the hand of the Giver in all they receive. The soil of the heart may thus early be prepared for casting in the precious seeds of truth, which in due time will spring up and bear a rich harvest. Fathers, the golden hours which you might spend in getting a thorough knowledge of the temperament and character of your children, and the best methods of dealing with their young minds, are … precious.—The Signs of the Times, December 6, 1877.

The father’s duty to his children should be one of his first interests. It should not be set aside for the sake of acquiring a fortune, or of gaining a high position in the world. In fact, those very conditions of affluence and honor frequently separate a man from his family and cut off his influence from them more than anything else. If the father would have his children develop harmonious characters, and be an honor to him and a blessing to the world, he has a special work to do.

Image result for african fathers and children

Children to Develop Well-Balanced Characters

Image result for Training the Children

Image result for Training the Children

 

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high… He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. Isaiah 33:5, 6, N.I.V.

Guard your children against every objectionable influence possible; for in childhood they are more ready to receive impressions, either of moral dignity, purity, and loveliness of character, or of selfishness, impurity, and disobedience. Once let them become influenced by the spirit of murmuring, pride, vanity, and impurity, and the taint may be as indelible as life itself.

“It is because the home training is defective that the youth are so unwilling to submit to proper authority. I am a mother; I know whereof I speak when I say that youth and children are not only safer but happier under wholesome restraint than when following their own inclination.”—The Adventist Home, 469, 470.

It should be the object of every parent to secure to his child a well-balanced, symmetrical character. This is a work of no small magnitude and importance—a work requiring earnest thought and prayer no less than patient, persevering effort. A right foundation must be laid, a framework, strong and firm, erected, and then day by day the work of building, polishing, perfecting must go forward.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 107.

The physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities should be developed in order to form a properly balanced character. Children should be watched, guarded, and disciplined in order to successfully accomplish this. It requires skill and patient effort to mold the young in the right manner. Certain evil tendencies are to be carefully restrained and tenderly rebuked; the mind is to be stimulated in favor of the right. The child should be encouraged in attempting to govern self, and all this is to be done judiciously, or the purpose desired is frustrated.

Parents may well inquire: “Who is sufficient for these things?” God alone is their sufficiency, and if they leave Him out of the question, seeking not His aid and counsel, hopeless indeed is their task. But by prayer, by a study of the Bible, and by earnest zeal on their part they may succeed nobly in this important duty and be repaid a hundredfold for all their time and care…

The Bible, a volume rich in instruction, should be their textbook… Impressions made upon the minds of the young are hard to efface. How important, then, that these impressions should be of the right sort, bending the elastic faculties of youth in the right direction