FAMILY SEASONS

This new study series is a continuation of the posts i mistakenly made under the heading THE BOOK OF REVELATION beginning with my post of March 29.

Thank you.

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  • What I will be posting come from the lesson study guide of the quarter April, May and June 2019 quarterly published by the Seventh -day Adventist Church and videos made by the Hope Channel and posted on YouTube.
  • WHEN ALONE

    Sabbath Afternoon

    Family Seasons Sabbath School Lesson Begins Bible Study Guide - 2nd Quarter 2019
    Lesson 4 April 20-26

    When Alone

    Sabbath Afternoon

    Read for This Week’s Study: Eccles. 4:9-12, Phil. 4:11-13, 1 Cor. 7:25-34, Matt. 19:8, Gen. 37:34, Isa. 54:5.

    Memory Text: “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18, NKJV).

    A fascinating yet painful story made the news years ago. A young woman had been found dead in her apartment. Though the death was tragic itself, what made the story worse was that the woman had been dead for more than 10 years before being found. Ten years! Thus, the question that people had asked, and rightly so, was: How in a big city like this, with so many people, and with so many means of communication, could a woman, who was not a street person, have been dead for so long and no one know?

    Though extreme, this story is an example of a reality: many people are suffering from loneliness. In 2016, The New York Times ran an article entitled, “Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness”. The problem is real.

    From the start, we as human beings were not meant to be alone. From Eden onward, we were to live in fellowship with other human beings to some degree or another. Of course, sin came in, and nothing has been right since then. This week we will look at the question of companionship and loneliness at the various times of life that, perhaps, all of us have at some time faced. If not, then count yourself fortunate.

    Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 27.
  • Sunday ↥ April 21

    Companionship
    Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. What’s the basic idea there? What principle of life is it talking about in general?

    Very few of us can make it alone. Even if we are loners and like being alone, sooner or later we not only want some companionship but we might even require it, especially in times of need. We were, indeed, made for community, for fellowship. How fortunate are those who have close family members who can give comfort and support, especially in times of need.

    Unfortunately, there are people in our church, where we work, in the communities where we live, who have no one to turn to, not just in their time of need, but even for some conversation at the end of the day. The sense of loneliness can come at any time. “The hardest day for me”, an unmarried man said, “is Sunday. During the week I am surrounded by people at work. On Sabbath I see people at church. But on Sunday I am all alone”.

    What principles can we all learn from the following passages, particularly when we may be going through a time of loneliness? John 16:32, 33; Phil. 4:11-13.

    Yes, as Christians we have not only the reality of God but the reality of being able to fellowship with God. And we can, indeed, draw comfort from the closeness of God to us. But the closeness of God to Adam, in Eden, didn’t stop the Lord from saying “It is not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18, NKJV). Thus, God knew that Adam, even when he had fellowship with God in a world undamaged by sin, still needed human companionship. How much more, then, do the rest of us need companionship, as well.

    We need to be careful, too, from assuming that just because there are a lot of people around, a person cannot be lonely. Some of the loneliest people live in big cities where they often have interaction with others. Just being around other bodies doesn’t mean someone cannot feel alone and alienated and in need of fellowship.

    It’s not always easy to know who is feeling lonely, alienated, rejected, or just plain hurting and in need of someone, if nothing else, just to talk to. How can you proactively seek to be more sensitive to whomever those people might be?
  • Monday ↥ April 22

    The Unmarried Life
    A young woman told of the advantages of not being married: “Twice I had the opportunity to go serve in the mission field, and I responded without any hesitation”. A married person, with a family, might have had to take a little more time making that decision because it doesn’t just involve them but also their spouse and children.

    What are, according to Paul, good reasons for remaining unmarried? 1 Cor. 7:25-34, NKJV.

    Most people think that being married is God’s will for them. Didn’t He say, “it is not good that man should be alone?” And yet, we have many examples in the Bible of people who were not married, including the greatest example of all, Jesus Christ.

    Jeremiah was told not to marry (Jer. 16:1-3); it was a judgment on a historical situation. We don’t know if that restriction was ever removed, but it is clear that Jeremiah was a great prophet while he was single.

    Also, Ezekiel’s marital status did not seem to be of great importance, even though his wife died suddenly. He was not even allowed to mourn but was to continue on with the ministry the Lord had assigned him (Ezek. 24:15-18). The prophet Hosea also experienced a broken marriage, but was able to continue in ministry. While the story seems strange to us, God told him to go marry a prostitute whom God knew would leave Hosea for other men (Hosea 1-3). Looking back, we can see God trying to illustrate the onesided love that He has for Israel and for us, but it must have been extremely hard and painful for Hosea to be the object lesson.

    In each of these examples, marital status was not an issue. God was interested in the person’s integrity, obedience, and ability to say what God wanted him to say. We need to be sure that our life is not defined by our marital condition. Many voices today will tell us that unless we are married we are not complete. Paul would respond, “Don’t be like the people of this world”. Instead, “offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing” (Rom. 12:1, 2, CEV).

    What are practical ways you can minister to those who are unmarried, both church members and non-church members?
  • Tuesday ↥ April 23

    When a Marriage Ends
    Of all the ways sin has devastated humanity, with the exception of physical suffering and death, what has faced more devastating consequences from sin than the family? It’s almost as if the phrase, “dysfunctional family” is redundant. What family isn’t, to some degree, dysfunctional?

    Outside of death, one of the hardest things a family can face is a divorce. People going through this terrible experience run a gamut of emotions. Probably the first and most common is grief, which, depending on the individuals, may last for several months to several years with different intensity. Some may experience fear; fear of the unknown, financial anxieties, and fear of being unable to cope. Some may go through a period of depression, anger, and, yes—loneliness.

    What broad principles concerning divorce can we gather from the following verses? Mal. 2:16; Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:8; 1 Cor. 7:11-13.

    “The Church as a redemptive agency of Christ is to minister to its members in all of their needs and to nurture everyone so that all may grow into a mature Christian experience. This is particularly true when members face lifelong decisions such as marriage and distressful experiences such as divorce. When a couple’s marriage is in danger of breaking down, every effort should be made by the partners and those in the church or family who minister to them to bring about their reconciliation in harmony with divine principles for restoring wounded relationships (Hosea 3:1-3; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; 13:4-7; Gal. 6:1).

    “Resources that can be of assistance to members in the development of a strong Christian home are available through the church or other church organizations. These resources include: (1) programs of orientation for couples engaged to be married, (2) programs of instruction for married couples with their families, and (3) programs of support for broken families and divorced individuals”. – The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 19th edition (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2016), p. 161.

    What are practical and nonjudgmental ways you can help someone going through divorce?
  • Wednesday ↥ April 24

    Death and Loneliness
    Someone once asked the question: What’s the difference between humans and chickens in regard to the question of death? The answer is that, unlike chickens, who die, we humans, who die, too, know that we will die. Chickens don’t. And it’s this knowledge of our impending death that greatly impacts how we live now.

    As we know, all relationships, including marriage, sooner or later come to an end in our greatest enemy: death. No matter how close a union, no matter the great love, the deep companionship, the time spent together, as human beings we (unlike chickens) know that sooner or later death will come (unless Jesus returns beforehand) and, when it does, all our relationships will cease. This has been our fate from the first sin and will be so until the return of Jesus.

    The Bible doesn’t tell us which of the two, Adam or

    Eve, died first, but it must have been particularly painful for the other one, especially since death was never supposed to be part of life to begin with. If, as we saw in an earlier lesson, the death of a single leaf caused them to mourn, who could imagine what they went through with a death of a spouse?

    The problem is that we are so used to death, we just take it for granted. But it was never supposed to be something that we as humans experienced. Hence, even to this day, we struggle to make sense of it, when, so often, we just can’t.

    What do the following texts teach us about death and about how people struggle with it? Isa. 57:1; Rev. 21:4; 1 Thess. 4:17, 18; Matt. 5:4; 2 Sam. 18:33; Gen. 37:34.

    No question: not only do we all face the reality of our own death, we face the reality of the death of others, of loved ones, of maybe our closest companion. Hence, sooner or later, many of us will face a time, a season, of loneliness brought about by the death of someone else. It’s hard, it hurts, and at such times we can, and often must, just claim the promises of God. After all, in this world of sin, suffering, and death, what else do we have?

    How can your church help those whom you know are suffering loneliness from the death of a loved one?
  • Thursday ↥ April 25

    Spiritually Single
    A young woman named Natalie had been married for seven years when, at the invitation of a friend, she attended an evangelistic series at a local Seventh-day Adventist church. Convicted by what she learned, she surrendered her heart to Christ, had a new-birth experience, and—despite the strenuous objections of her husband, parents, in-laws, even her next-door neighbor—Natalie joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She also adjusted her lifestyle, to every degree possible, to her newfound faith.

    As one could imagine, she faced a great deal of pushback; what made it especially hard was her husband, who argued, and correctly so: “This is not what I signed up for when we got married. You are a whole new person, and I want the old one back”.

    For years now, she has been struggling to live a life of faith. Though married, she is what we could call “spiritually single”.

    What encouraging words do we find in the following verses for those who may feel spiritually single? Isa. 54:5; Hos. 2:19, 20; Ps. 72:12.

    All over the world, there are “Natalies” in our church. These people, men or women, are married but attend church alone or only with their children. They may have married a person of a different faith. Or perhaps when they joined the church, their spouse did not. Or when married, both were members of the church, but one, for whatever reason, dropped out, stopped coming, and might even be hostile to the faith. These men and woman come alone to church and to the meal after the worship service, or go alone to the outreach or social activities of the church. They are saddened when they cannot contribute financially to the church’s ministry as much as they would like because their spouse does not agree to do so. Though married, they might feel spiritually like a widow or a widower.

    We probably all, at some time or another, have met people like this in the church, and they do need our love and support.

    What practical things can we, as a church family, do to help the spiritually single in our midst?
  • Friday ↥ April 26

    Further Thought: “In the midst of a life of active labor, Enoch steadfastly maintained his communion with God. The greater and more pressing his labors, the more constant and earnest were his prayers. He continued to exclude himself at certain periods from all society. After remaining for a time among the people, laboring to benefit them by instruction and example, he would withdraw, to spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for that divine knowledge which God alone can impart. Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the light that shineth in the face of Jesus. As he came forth from these divine communings, even the ungodly beheld with awe the impress of heaven upon his countenance”. – Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, p. 52. Though the story of Enoch here is encouraging and has something powerful to say about those who choose to have times of solitude, many face a solitude they don’t ask for.They don’t want to be alone. Yes, again, we can always have a joyful communion with the Lord, who is everpresent, but sometimes we crave human companionship and fellowship. How crucial that we, as a church, be ready to reach out to those who might be sitting right next to us on Sabbath each week, yet who are going through a terrible season of loneliness. At the same time, if you are going through such a time, seek out someone whom you feel that you can trust at church (or elsewhere) and let them know. Many times people simply cannot tell by looking at someone what they are going through. It’s easy, at least for some people, to hide behind a mask.

    Discussion Questions:
    How can your church learn to be more sensitive to the needs of the lonely in your midst?
    “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil. 4:11, NKJV). Read the larger context of Paul’s words here. How can we learn to apply these to ourselves? At the same time, why must we be very careful in how we quote this passage to someone who truly is hurting?
    In class, talk about a time you went through severe loneliness. What helped you? What hurt you? What did you learn that could be a help to others?
    Inside Story~ Myanmar


    Division President Baptizes Father
    By Andrew McChesney

    Samuel Saw, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division, grew up without a relationship with his father.

    The two never spent time together in their home country of Myanmar. They didn’t talk about things.

    “He never hugged me”, Samuel said. “I was a boy without a father”.

    Samuel, who was raised by his grandparents, went on to study in an Adventist school and graduate as a pastor from the Myanmar Union Adventist Seminary in Myaungmya, a city of 280,000 people located about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Myanmar’s capital, Yangon.

    Church work was challenging in the southeast Asian country where just 4 percent of the population is Christian. Buddhists account for about 90 percent of the population, and Muslims comprise 4 percent.

    As a pastor, Samuel told many people, “Reach out to your non-Christian family and other relatives”. But he never reached out to his own father.

    Samuel got married, had two children, and served as a pastor and church administrator in Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines.

    While serving as executive secretary of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, Samuel attended a week of prayer that prompted him to think hard about his father. He shared his childhood story with the speaker, and the two men prayed together.

    “You’ve got to reach out to your own father”, the speaker said.

    Samuel prayed to God to give him strength. He felt pain when he thought about his father, and he lacked a desire to connect with him. He kept praying—and the unexpected happened.

    “I was privileged to baptized my own father at the age of 76”, Samuel said.

    Samuel still remembers what his father said afterward.

    “Son”, the elderly man said, “I want to be a Christian who goes to church with a songbook and the Bible in my hand. Please buy a songbook and a Bible for me, so I can carry them to church”.

    Samuel choked up with emotion as he remembered his father emerging from the water of the baptismal tank and wrapping his arms around him.

    “It was the first time that he hugged me in my whole life”, he said.

    Samuel, elected president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, whose territory of 14 countries includes Myanmar, in 2016, encourages others to ask God for help to overcome bitterness and hurt.

    “We are just human beings without God’s transforming power”, he said. “But with His power, we can be a difference to the world”.

    Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. email: info@adventistmission.org website: www.adventistmission.org

    All Rights Reserved. No part of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide may be edited, altered, modified, adapted, translated, reproduced, or published by any person or entity without prior written authorization from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

    Sabbath School Lesson Ends
  • Family Seasons Sabbath School Lesson Begins Bible Study Guide - 2nd Quarter 2019
    Lesson 5 April 27-May 3

    Wise Words for Families

    Sabbath Afternoon!

    Read for This Week’s Study: Prov. 5:3-14; Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 7:3, 4; Prov. 13:22; 14:26; 17:22; 23:13; 31:10-31.

    Memory Text: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6, NKJV).

    Whatever phase of life we are in now, we all, of course, started out with a mother and a father, regardless of the kind of relationship, if any at all, that we had with them after our birth. On the other hand, some people, other than having siblings or other relatives, never have a family of their own, other than the one they grew up in.

    Whatever our situation, whatever our phase of life, the book of Proverbs contains a combination of instructions, poems, questions, and wise sayings. Family relationships are directly addressed, and other words of wisdom can be applied to the home. Proverbs is, in fact, cast as a family document in which keys to a godly life are handed down from parent to child. Just as parents might write a letter of advice to a son or daughter going to college, setting up their separate dwelling, or taking a job away from home, so Proverbs is addressed from father to son: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother” (Prov. 1:8, NKJV). Deuteronomy directed parents to share their convictions with the next generation. This is what Proverbs does. In the father’s summons, we hear the voice of the heavenly Father calling us to learn.

    Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 4.
  • Sunday ↥ April 28

    Love the Right Woman
    List the problems and consequences involved with a sexual liaison before marriage or an extramarital affair as depicted in Proverbs 5:3-14.

    The godly person reserves (if not married) and preserves (if married) his or her deepest affections and sexual intimacy for marriage. Men are specifically addressed in Proverbs, but the same idea as it relates to women is expressed in the Song of Solomon (compare Song of Sol. 4:12-15). The powerful attraction of illicit love must be weighed against the horrific consequences of this sin. Casual sexual liaisons lack commitment and, therefore, fall far short of true intimacy. Material, physical, and emotional resources are squandered. Most important, one must answer to God for the choices made in life.

    Sexual intimacy, one of God’s greatest gifts to humans, is a privilege of marriage only (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 7:3, 4; Heb. 13:4). In Proverbs, the imagery of nourishing, plentiful water is used as a delicate symbol of the pleasure and satisfaction a married couple ought to obtain in their love together. This is contrasted with the waste that results when there is unfaithfulness. The expression “the wife of your youth” (Prov. 5:18, NKJV) indicates that, even when the two grow older, their commitment is to continue. A husband is still ravished (“intoxicated” [Prov. 5:19, NIV]) by his wife’s charms.

    In the human fallen condition, sexual instincts can lure individuals away from the divine design for sexuality. However, God has also given humanity the power to reason and to choose. These temptations, if not continually suppressed, can become overwhelming. A firm commitment to the divine design for sexuality in marriage can prevent the development of illicit sexual relationships. The choice of lifelong faithfulness to God’s design for sexuality in marriage not only is prudent but carries its own bountiful rewards.

    If you knew someone struggling with sexual temptations that could destroy a marriage, what counsel would you give that person?
  • Monday ↥ April 29

    A Call to Fathers
    Note the character qualities of fathers described in Proverbs that can have long-term consequences for children:

    Prov. 13:22; 27:23, 24

    Prov. 14:26

    Prov. 15:1, 18; 16:32

    Prov. 15:27

    Prov. 29:17

    The characters of fathers have a direct impact on their children and the legacy they pass on to them. Children look to their fathers for support, devoted affection, guidance, and modeling. Proverbs lauds those fathers who are reliable providers and wise managers of family resources. Many are the ways in which “the greedy bring ruin to their household” (Prov. 15:27, NIV); fathers must be mindful to give priority to family over work. Godly fathers seek to be patient and in command of their emotions. They respect their children’s dependence upon them. They discipline their children, but are careful not to abuse their position of authority. Most important, dedicated fathers want to follow God, to be controlled by His love and by the teaching of His Word, that they might guide the feet of their children in the right way.

    In the end, the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. His faithfulness and continuing affection for her, or the lack of these, have a telling effect upon children’s well-being even into adulthood.

    In Proverbs, loyalty to God, commitment to marriage and family, and integrity in one’s personal and community life are key themes. Success in everything depends upon the condition of the individual heart. The attractions of sin—whether sex, sloth, wealth, or power—abound, but the wise husband and father looks to God for help to make right choices continually.

    How are the moral principles expressed here important for anyone, whether or not a father? How have your actions, either for good or bad, impacted others, especially children? In what ways might you need to be more careful?
  • Tuesday ↥ April 30

    Correction With Love
    What does Proverbs teach about the importance of discipline and correction of a child? Prov. 10:17; 23:13, 14; 29:1; 29:15.

    Parents sometimes discipline their children to impress upon them what is socially unacceptable behavior, to punish for disobedience, or even to express their displeasure when embarrassed. But what is God’s intention regarding discipline for these young members of His family? Proverbs sets discipline in the context of hope for the future (Prov. 19:18). Godly parents know that children have a sinful nature. Only one power can help them with this, and this power is Christ (see Ellen G. White, Education, p. 29). The mission of Christian parenting, including discipline, is to lead children to God.

    Supporting a tender plant. Through Christ discipline is seen not as punishment, nor an expression of authority, but as redemptive correction. God’s plan is that loving parents, knowing the strength of sin, guide their children’s footsteps to Christ. Caring parents correct kindly and firmly, restraining and guiding children through the early years, much as a horticulturalist provides support to a newly planted tree, until self-control emerges and a youth comes to trust in God and cooperates with the divine plan for salvation, growth, and maturity.

    What message for parents is found in Proverbs 13:24; 23:13, 14?

    All told, just a few verses mention the “rod” (Heb. shebet) in the context of disciplining children. Popular within Christian parenting literature is the notion that parental use of the rod should be like that of the heavenly Shepherd who uses it to guide His flock (Ps. 23:4). Elsewhere, Scripture points to patient teaching, consistent modeling, good communication, and close relationships for influencing change in children (Deut. 11:18, 19). The child’s feeling of being loved by his or her parents is vital if discipline is to have its desired effect of being corrective and redemptive (Prov. 13:24).

    When discipline has missed its intended purpose by being too harsh or misunderstood, how can parents set matters right with their children?
  • Wednesday ↥ May 1

    Is Life Better on a Rooftop?
    In what way does the book of Proverbs sprinkle humor on some of the irritations in domestic living? Prov. 21:9, 19; 27:15, 16. What effect does this humor have?

    A number of the proverbs consider the ways we treat each other in close relationships. They make their point with a light touch and a flash of wit, like the ones about the insensitive friend who “sings songs to a heavy heart” (Prov. 25:20, NKJV) and the early-rising family member who “blesses” sleepers “with a loud voice” (Prov. 27:14, NKJV). Wives reading these verses about contentious women may want to add some “proverbs” about men! They may retort that such sayings perpetuate the very problem of these proverbs by targeting only women when husbands, who share responsibility for the home atmosphere, are equally capable of contentious behavior. (Imagine what it must have been like living in the home of Caiaphas or Annas!)

    A merry heart helps. Having a sense of humor in family living is a good thing. Humor lubricates the machinery of living, helping to reduce stresses and strains. “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Prov. 17:22, NKJV). Proverbs takes some of its own medicine throughout the book and gives us permission to chuckle at a few of the behaviors that annoy and irritate. Perhaps when we have smiled (or smarted a bit if the joke is on us), we are in a better place to talk about habits or behaviors that irritate or annoy us. On the other hand, humor should not be used to minimize or bypass issues that need serious attention.

    A low-grade fever may be symptomatic of a chronic infection. Quarreling, nagging, and complaining may signal that there is suppressed anger in one or more family members, perhaps related to difficulties with mutuality or communication in the relationship. The complaining partner tries to offset the perceived power, control, and unwillingness to communicate of another. If the infection is cleared up, the symptoms will go away. In families, rather than avoiding the problem or one another, members build on their love for the Lord and their commitment to one another to communicate their needs and feelings, get to the root of their anger, and clear it up.

    Why is laughter so important for the home? How can it be used for good, or how can it be perverted and used for evil? Bring your answer to class.
  • Thursday ↥ May 2

    A Truly Wealthy Wife
    The book of Proverbs closes with praise for a wife of noble character. Identify the characteristics and qualities that are lauded. Prov. 31:10-31.

    The woman described is special, and so is the poetry. Each of the verses beginning with Proverbs 31:10 begins with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. One senses from this tribute to a worthy wife that even the whole national alphabet barely provides a sufficient framework to extol her properly!

    Proverbs’ emphasis on marrying a good partner is reflected in a dictum of the rabbis: “A man’s home is his wife”. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones” (Prov. 12:4, NIV). Here, at the end of the Proverbs, rolled idealistically into a portrait of one, are many varied skills: clothing manufacture, buying real estate, agriculture, home and financial management. Meanwhile, she cares well for her family. They love her and praise her.
    These extensive talents are not to be expected in every woman, nor are they a blueprint whereby husbands should measure their wives. Rather, through describing these capabilities and qualities, Proverbs conveys what is most important and universally relevant for women, as well as for men: the traits of trustworthiness, compassion, reliability, faithfulness, kindness, and industry. The secret of such a life, according to Proverbs 31:30, is that she “fears the LORD” (NKJV).

    In Proverbs 31:10 the word for “virtuous”, or “of noble character” (NIV), means “strength”, “might”, or “wealth”. It is translated as “riches” in Psalm 62:10 and describes Joshua’s “men of valour” (Josh. 1:14). Boaz commends Ruth with the word “virtuous” (Ruth 3:11). In Proverbs 31:10 there is a play on the concept of “wealth”. True wealth lies in character, integrity, and the fear of the Lord. This vastly exceeds the worth to be found in precious stones.

    Who are some of the women of valor and virtue who have influenced your life? How would you expand the list of character qualities, virtues, and capacities of godly women?
  • Friday ↥ May 3

    Further Thought: Keeping the heart in heaven. “Christians should be careful that they keep the heart with all diligence. They should cultivate a love for meditation, and cherish a spirit of devotion. Many seem to begrudge moments spent in meditation, and the searching of the Scriptures, and prayer, as though the time thus occupied was lost. I wish you could all view these things in the light God would have you; for you would then make the kingdom of heaven of the first importance. To keep your heart in heaven, will give vigor to all your graces, and put life into all your duties. To discipline the mind to dwell upon heavenly things, will put life and earnestness into all our endeavors. … We are dwarfs in spiritual attainments. … [Eph. 4:13.]”. – Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1157.
    Discussion Questions:
    Many Christians find a support group network helpful as they seek to “guard their hearts” against temptation. In what way might this augment prayer, Bible study, and reliance on the Holy Spirit? In some cases, why might it be a good idea to seek professional help if someone really struggles with temptations that do lead them into sin, and they seem unable to stop?
    As a class, read your answers aloud to Wednesday’s final question. Discuss the implications of your various answers. As with so many of the wonderful things that God has given us, how can laughter and humor be perverted and twisted into being something actually harmful?
    In contrast to Proverbs 31, what qualities does contemporary culture tend to exalt in women? How can we as individuals protect ourselves from partaking of that same degrading attitude?
    In general, what are some of the cultural attitudes about family life in your society that directly conflict with biblical principles of family life? On the other hand, are there some cultural attitudes that parallel biblical principles? If so, what are they, and how can they be used to strengthen our families?
    Inside Story~ United States


    Baby Is Coming!
    By Andrew McChesney

    A physician praying to be used by God after hearing a Sabbath sermon about mission work in the cities unexpectedly delivered a baby in the parking lot of the Seventh-day Adventist world church’s U.S. headquarters.

    Dr. Yvette C. Ross Hebron delivered a healthy baby boy in the car of the parents, who had been rushing to the hospital but pulled into the church’s parking lot in Silver Spring, Maryland, after getting lost.

    Yvette said she believed God arranged the events.

    “The most wonderful opportunity in response to our prayers was orchestrated by the Master”, she said.

    Yvette began praying about how to do more to serve God after hearing Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson preach during the 2017 Annual Council business meetings at the church’s General Conference headquarters. The church leader had appealed for a renewed effort to reach people in the cities and spoke of the need for physicians and other health-care professionals to reach city residents.

    Five days after the sermon, Yvette and her husband were driving past church headquarters when they saw a man pull into the parking lot, frantically jump from his car, and run around it. Rolling down the window, she heard him crying and screaming, “The baby is coming!” Then she heard the screams of the expectant mother in the car.

    “My husband and I immediately pulled into the driveway”, she said.

    Moments later, the baby was born. As Harold telephoned the paramedics, the new father removed his shoelaces from his tennis shoes and found a pair of scissors in the car. Following Yvette’s directions, he tied off the umbilical cord and cut it.

    Yvette wrapped the baby in a blanket from her car and made sure that he was comfortable and breathing fine. General Conference security arrived and fostered a calm environment. After a short time, the paramedics took a healthy and stable mother and baby to the hospital.

    Later that day, Yvette visited the mother in the hospital and again held the baby in her arms.

    The mother excitedly told the nurses that God sent an angel to help her in the parking lot.

    “I don’t know where she came from”, the mother said. “I just looked up, and she was there”.

    Yvette said she has no doubt that what happened in the parking lot was an answer to prayer.

    “My husband and I attribute all to God’s plan”, she said.

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    All Rights Reserved. No part of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide may be edited, altered, modified, adapted, translated, reproduced, or published by any person or entity without prior written authorization from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

    Sabbath School Lesson Ends
  • Family Seasons Sabbath School Lesson Begins Bible Study Guide - 2nd Quarter 2019
    Lesson 6 May 4-10

    The Royal Love Song

    http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/19b/less06.html
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