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Feasting on God’s Word, September 22

Preparing for the Heavenly Home

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

Our heavenly Father, in giving His Word, did not overlook the children. In all that men have written, where can be found anything that has such a hold upon the heart, anything so well adapted to awaken the interest of the little ones, as the stories of the Bible? In these simple stories may be made plain the great principles of the law of God.

The Sabbath school affords to parents and children a precious opportunity for the study of God’s Word.... Parents, set apart a little time each day for the study of the Sabbath school lesson with your children.... Parents, as well as children, will receive benefit from this study. Let the more important passages of Scripture connected with the lesson be committed to memory, not as a task, but as a privilege....

Observe system in the study of the Scriptures in your families. Neglect anything of a temporal nature; ... but be sure that the soul is fed with the bread of life.

Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His Word.... Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood.

We need to recognize the Holy Spirit as our enlightener. That Spirit loves to address the children, and discover to them the treasures and beauties of the Word. The promises spoken by the Great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul of the child with a spiritual power that is divine. There will grow in the receptive mind a familiarity with divine things which will be as a barricade against the temptations of the enemy.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org

Little Children May Be Christians, September 21

Preparing for the Heavenly Home

Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14.

God wants every child of tender age to be His child, to be adopted into His family. Young though they may be, the youth may be members of the household of faith, and have a most precious experience.

I was eleven years old when the light broke into my heart. I had pious parents, who in every way tried to make their children acquainted with their heavenly Father. We sang the praises of God in our household. Every morning and evening we had family prayer. There were eight children in the family, and every opportunity was improved by our parents to lead us to give our hearts to Jesus.

Children are most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received. The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years.

Happy are the parents whose lives are a true reflection of the divine, so that the promises and commands of God awaken in the child gratitude and reverence; the parents whose tenderness and justice and long-suffering interpret to the child the love and justice and long-suffering of God; and who, by teaching the child to love and trust and obey them, are teaching him to love and trust and obey his Father in heaven. Parents who impart to a child such a gift have endowed him with a treasure more precious than the wealth of all the ages—a treasure as enduring as eternity.

Never allow your children to suppose that they are not children of God until they are old enough to be baptized.

If properly instructed, very young children may have correct views of their state as sinners and of the way of salvation through Christ.

In love, faith, and prayer let parents work for their households, until with joy they can come to God saying, “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me.” Isaiah 8:18.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org

“I Will Save Thy Children,” September 20

Preparing for the Heavenly Home

But thus saith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. Isaiah 49:25.

The youth are the objects of Satan’s special attacks.

Wherever we turn, the battle goes on unceasingly.... Multitudes of the youth are swept away by the overwhelming tide of evil. In every earnest Christian heart the question rises, “Why, oh, why, in a land of Bibles and Christian teaching, can the adversary of souls exert over our youth a power so mighty, so unrestrained?” The reason is apparent. Parents are neglecting their solemn responsibility.

If a field is left uncultivated, a crop of weeds is sure to appear. So it is with children. If the soil of the heart is uncultivated, Satan sows his seeds of anger and hatred, selfishness and pride, and they quickly spring up, to bear a harvest that parents reap with bitter regret. Too late they see their terrible mistake.

One of the signs of the “last days” is the disobedience of children to their parents.

The sin of rebellion against parental authority, lies at the very foundation of the misery and crime in the world today.

Jesus loves children and youth. He rejoices when He sees Satan repulsed in his efforts to overcome them. Many a youth is in imminent peril through manifold temptations, but the Saviour has the tenderest sympathy for him, and sends His angels to guard and protect him. He is the Good Shepherd, ever ready to ... seek for the lost, straying sheep.

Parents stand in the place of God to their children, and they will have to render an account, whether they have been faithful to the charge committed to their trust.

[Christian parents,] be true to your trust. God will help you. Guided by Him, your children will grow up to bless and honor you in this life and in the life to come.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org

Holding the Reins of Government, September 17

The Happiest Place on Earth

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

The will of God is the law of heaven. As long as that law was the rule of life, all the family of God were holy and happy. But when the divine law was disobeyed, then envy, jealousy, and strife were introduced, and a part of the inhabitants of heaven fell. As long as God’s law is revered in our earthly homes, the family will be happy.

One of the first lessons a child needs to learn is the lesson of obedience. Before he is old enough to reason, he may be taught to obey.

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. Her influence in the home is to be paramount.

Self-will should never be permitted to go unrebuked. The future well-being of the child requires kindly, loving, but firm discipline.... It is impossible to depict the evil that results from leaving a child to its own will.

A fitful government—at one time holding the lines firmly, and at another allowing that which has been condemned—is ruination to a child.

Uniform firmness and unimpassioned control are necessary to the discipline of every family. Say what you mean calmly, move with consideration, and carry out what you say without deviation.

The requirements of the parents should always be reasonable; kindness should be expressed, not by foolish indulgence, but by wise direction. Parents are to teach their children pleasantly, without scolding or faultfinding, seeking to bind the hearts of the little ones to them by silken cords of love.

The combined influence of authority and love will make it possible to hold firmly and kindly the reins of family government. An eye single to the glory of God and to what our children owe Him will keep us from looseness and from sanctioning evil.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org

House-Band of the Family, September 16

The Happiest Place on Earth

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

Great as is the work of the mother, it should never be forgotten that the father also has a part to act in the education and training of his children.... Especially as the children advance in years is the father’s influence needed, in union with that of the mother, to restrain, control, and guide.

A Christian father is the house-band of his family, binding them close to the throne of God. Never is his interest in his children to flag. The father who has a family of boys should not leave these restless boys wholly to the care of the mother.... He should make himself their companion and friend. He should exert himself to keep them from evil associates.... He should take more of the burden upon himself, doing all in his power to lead his boys to God.

When children lose their self-control and speak passionate words, the parents should for a time keep silent.... Silence is golden, and will do more to bring repentance than any words that can be uttered. Satan is well pleased when parents irritate their children by speaking harsh, angry words.... “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21.... Let your calmness help to restore them to a proper frame of mind.

By kind and judicious management, fathers as well as mothers should bind their children to them by the strong ties of reverence, gratitude, and love, and should kindle in their young hearts an earnest longing for righteousness and truth. While the mother seeks to implant good principles, the father should see that the precious seed is not choked by the growth of evil. His sterner discipline is needed that his children may learn firmness and self-control....

Christian father, labor kindly, patiently, for the welfare of your children. Seek to turn their hearts to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Teach them by precept and example that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of doing good.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org

The Grandest Work of All, September 15

The Happiest Place on Earth

That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. Psalm 144:12.

The tenderest earthly tie is that between the mother and her child.

In the children committed to her care, every mother has a sacred charge from God. “Take this son, this daughter,” He says; “train it for Me; give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever.”

This work of molding, refining, and polishing is the mother’s. The character of the child is to be developed. The mother must engrave upon the tablet of the heart lessons as enduring as eternity.

Child training is the grandest work ever committed to mortals. The child belongs to the Lord, and from the time it is an infant in its mother’s arms, it is to be trained for Him.

The home should be to the children the most attractive place in the world, and the mother’s presence should be its greatest attraction.... By gentle discipline, in loving words and acts, mothers may bind their children to their hearts.

There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil. No other work can equal hers in importance. She has not, like the artist, to paint a form of beauty upon canvas, nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not, like the author, to embody a noble thought in words of power, nor, like the musician, to express a beautiful sentiment in melody. It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine.

The king upon his throne has no higher work than has the mother. The mother is queen of her household. She has in her power the molding of her children’s characters, that they may be fitted for the higher, immortal life. An angel could not ask for a higher mission.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org

Pattern for Children and Youth, September 14

The Happiest Place on Earth

And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:40.

Jesus is our example.... It is in His home life that He is the pattern for all children and youth.

His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things.... His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s Word.... From His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others.

In His youth He worked with His father at the carpenter’s trade.... From His childhood He was a pattern of obedience and industry. He was as a pleasant sunbeam in the home circle. Faithfully and cheerfully He acted His part, doing the humble duties that He was called to do in His lowly life.

The life of Christ was humble, free from affectation or display. He lived mostly in the open air.... The birds, the natural flowers that decked the fields with their glowing beauty, the majestic trees and lofty mountains, the ragged rocks and perpetual hills, all had special charms for Him.... Secluded from every human eye, He communed with His heavenly Father. His moral powers were strengthened by His meditation and communion with God.

It is the precious privilege of ... parents to cooperate in teaching the children how to drink in the gladness of Christ’s life by learning to follow His example. The Saviour’s early years were useful years. He was His mother’s helper in the home; and He was just as verily fulfilling His commission when performing the duties of the home and working at the carpenter’s bench as when He engaged in His public work of ministry.

Every youth who follows Christ’s example of faithfulness and obedience in His lowly home may claim those words spoken of Him by the Father through the Holy Spirit, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” Isaiah 42:1.

 

This text is from the devotional book The Faith I Live By by Ellen G. White. To view more books by Ellen G. White, or to download this devotional book, visit egwwritings.org