Hebrew children enjoyed special treatment when compared with their ancient counterparts from surrounding nations. Child sacrifice as divine appeasement had permeated many cultures. Otherwise, children’s value was often measured by their economic contribution to society. Work productivity, not intrinsic worth, defined their relationship with the adult world. It is painful to say, but some of these attitudes, especially when it comes to economic worth, are found even in our present world. Truly, the day of wrath must come.
Read for This Week’s Study: Ps. 127:3-5; Deut. 6:6-7; Luke 2:40-52; Matt. 18:1-6, Matt. 10-14; Mark 10:13-16.
Memory Text: Do you hear what these children are saying? they asked him. Yes, replied Jesus, have you never read, From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise? (Matthew 21:16, NIV).
In our desire to preach to the world and to make disciples from every nation, we must not forget a whole class of people – children.
Christian studies regarding children [...]
Rex lay in bed, unable to move his legs. The doctor’s words hung heavy in the air. “You’ll never walk again,” he’d said.
What will happen to my family? Rex wondered. Rex knew that his own stubbornness had put him where he was.
Two years earlier Rex’s uncle had offered to pay his daughters’ tuition if Rex enrolled them in the Adventist school. Rex agreed. Soon the girls asked to attend Sabbath School. His wife went with them, but Rex said he [...]
Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, A Reformatory Movement, p. 126, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9; By Personal Efforts and Living Faith, pp. 244, 245, in Medical Ministry.
He who does nothing but pray will soon cease to pray, or his prayers will become a formal routine. When men take themselves out of social life, away from the sphere of Christian duty and cross bearing; when they cease to work earnestly for the Master, who worked earnestly for them, [...]
The sincerest offering of praise is imitation. Christ’s earliest disciples imitated their Master’s prayer life. Naturally they prayed for personal safety, for their daily necessities, and for individual spiritual guidance. Nevertheless, intercessory prayer became an important component of their discipleship.
Read Acts 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:16; Jude 20-22; 1 Peter 4:7. What role did prayer assume in the early church? What were some of the specific situations for which they [...]
Christ was the embodiment of perfection; that is, all of God’s perfections were revealed in Him. Thus, was anyone ever more compassionate than Christ? Who possessed a stronger desire than Jesus to alleviate human distress?
We, therefore, ask: what relationship did Christ’s compassion and intercession have with discipleship?
Read Luke 22:31-32 and John 17:6-26 (see also Heb. 2:17). How did Jesus’ identification with humanity influence His intercessory prayers? What are the ultimate objectives of Christ’s intercessory [...]
Prayer miraculously bonds finite souls with their infinite Creator. Prayer is spiritual adhesive. Bonded with the heavenly Father, believers transcend their earthly natures and sinful tendencies. This transformation separates them from the world. Should Satan successfully recast prayer into a self-centered mold, thus robbing prayer of its potential for our transformation, we could be powerfully compromised and our witness stymied.
Read Matthew 6:7-8; Matt 7:7-11; Matt 18:19-20. What do these verses teach us about prayer? [...]
Think through what prayer really is: fallen sinful beings, worthy of death, are able, instantly, to have direct communication with the Creator of the universe-our Holy God.
Also, when God in Christ clothed Himself in human flesh, accepting humanity’s limitations, He, too, sensed the necessity of prayer. Though not standing before the Father in the same position that we as fallen sinners are, Jesus as a human still saw the necessity for prayer.
Read Matthew 14:22-23; [...]
Frequently, prayer assumes a self-centered posture. Believers present their wish lists before God, hoping to get that which they ask for. Though, of course, we are told to set our petitions before God, sometimes our motives are not pure. After all, are not our hearts corrupt, wicked, and deceitful? Might not our prayers, at times, simply reflect the sinfulness that lies within?
Intercessory prayer, however, focuses on another person’s needs, thus removing the likelihood of [...]