Lesson 4 *January 21 - 27

Living With Lambs

Memory Text: Isaiah 40:11 NIV 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

"Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION". Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.

Sabbath Afternoon


A Unique Stewardship

Adventist Home, p. 159

Chap. Twenty-Three - Children a Blessing God Planned for Families.--He who gave Eve to Adam as a helpmeet . . . ordained that men and women should be united in holy wedlock, to rear families whose members, crowned with honor, should be recognized as members of the family above. {AH 159.1}

Children are the heritage of the Lord, and we are answerable to Him for our management of His property. . . . 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." {AH 159.2}

A childless house is a desolate place. The hearts of the inmates are in danger of becoming selfish, of cherishing a love for their own ease, and consulting their own desires and conveniences. They gather sympathy to themselves, but have little to bestow upon others. {AH 159.3}

Counsel to a Childless Couple.--Selfishness, which manifests itself in a variety of ways according to circumstances and the peculiar organization of individuals, must die. If you had children, and your mind were compelled to be called away from yourself to care for them, to instruct them, and be an example to them, it would be an advantage to you. . . . When two compose a family, as in your case, and there are no children to call into exercise patience, forbearance, and true love, there is need of constant watchfulness lest selfishness obtain the supremacy, lest you yourselves become the center, and you require attention, care, and interest, which you feel under no obligation to bestow upon others. (p. 160) {AH 159.4}

Psalms 50:10-12 NKJV 10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. 12 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.

Psalms 127:3 NKJV 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Isaiah 43:1 NKJV 1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

Isaiah 43:7 NKJV 7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."

1 Peter 2:9 NKJV 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Luke 16:8 NKJV 8 "So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

1 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Judges 13:12 NKJV 12 Manoah said, "Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy's rule of life, and his work?"


Momentous Decisions

Genesis 30:1 NKJV 1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!"

1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Mark 13:17 NKJV 17 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

Genesis 16:1-2 NKJV 1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, "See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her." And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.

Genesis 30:1-9 NKJV 1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die!" 2 And Jacob's anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?" 3 So she said, "Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her." 4 Then she gave him Bilhah her maid as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Then Rachel said, "God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son." Therefore she called his name Dan. 7 And Rachel's maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, "With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed." So she called his name Naphtali. 9 When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife.

1 Samuel 1:1-20 NKJV 1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there. 4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" 9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head." 12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!" 15 And Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

1 Samuel 1:16-20 16 "Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now." 17 Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him." 18 And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. 19 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the LORD."


Lessons From the Heavenly Parent

Matthew 5:16 NKJV 16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:9 NKJV 9 "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV 14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:18 NKJV 18 "so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Deuteronomy 1:31 NKJV 31 'and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.'

John 6:33-35 NKJV 33 "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Psalms 32:8 NKJV 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

Isaiah 54:13 NKJV 13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.

Hosea 11:3 NKJV 3 "I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them.

Deuteronomy 8:5 NKJV 5 "You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.

Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV 11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Hebrews 12:5-7 NKJV 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

Hosea 11:1-2 NIV 1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.

Hosea 11:1-2 NKJV 1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. 2 As they called them, So they went from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images.

Luke 15:11-32 NKJV 11 Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. 12 "And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 'I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."' 20 "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'

Luke 15:22-32 22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 'And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 'for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry. 25 "Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 "So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 "And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' 28 "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 "So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 'But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' 31 "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 'It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'"


Doing What Is Good for Children

Micah 6:8 RSV 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 NKJV 8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Adventist Home, p. 308

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. {AH 308.1}

Harshness Not Requisite to Obedience.--Let none imagine . . . that harshness and severity are necessary to secure obedience. I have seen the most efficient family government maintained without a harsh word or look. I have been in other families where commands were constantly given in an authoritative tone, and harsh rebukes and severe punishments were often administered. In the first case the children followed the course pursued by the parents and seldom spoke to one another in harsh tones. In the second also the parental example was imitated by the children; and cross words, faultfindings, and disputes were heard from morning till night. {AH 308.2}

Words that intimidate, creating fear and expelling love from the soul, are to be restrained. A wise, tender, God-fearing father will bring, not a slavish fear, but an element of love into the home. If we drink of the water of life, the fountain will send forth sweet water, not bitter. {AH 308.3}

Harsh words sour the temper and wound the hearts of children, and in some cases these wounds are difficult to heal. Children are sensitive to the least injustice, and some become discouraged under it and will neither heed the loud, angry voice of command nor care for threatenings of punishment. {AH 308.4}

There is danger of too severely criticizing small things. Criticism that is too severe, rules that are too rigid, lead (p. 309) to the disregard of all regulations; and by and by children thus educated will show the same disrespect for the laws of Christ. {AH 308.5}

Micah 6:8 NKJV 8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Genesis 37:3-4 NKJV 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

Judges 14:1-3 NKJV 1 Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, "I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife." 3 Then his father and mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" And Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she pleases me well."

1 Samuel 2:22-25 NKJV 22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 23 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 "No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD'S people transgress. 25 "If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

1 Samuel 3:13 NKJV 13 "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.


Shepherding a Child's Heart

Matthew 18:2-5 NKJV 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Mark 9:36-37 NKJV 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."

Mark 9:41 NKJV 41 "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Matthew 18:5-6 NKJV 5 "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. 6 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Mark 9:42 NKJV 42 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.


Adventist Home, pp. 244-247

Mother Tempted to Feel That Her Work Is Unimportant.--The mother's work often seems to her an unimportant service. It is a work that is rarely appreciated. Others know little of her many cares and burdens. Her days are occupied with a round of little duties, all calling for patient effort, for self-control, for tact, wisdom, and self-sacrificing love; yet she cannot boast of what she has done as any great achievement. She has only kept things in the home running smoothly. Often weary and perplexed, she has tried to speak kindly to the children, to keep them busy and happy, and to guide their little feet in the right path. She feels that she has accomplished nothing. But it is not so. Heavenly angels watch the careworn mother, noting the burdens she carries day by day. Her name may not have been heard in the world, but it is written in the Lamb's book of life. {AH 244.1}

The true wife and mother . . . will perform her duties with dignity and cheerfulness, not considering it degrading to do with her own hands whatever it is necessary to do in a well-ordered household. {AH 244.2}

Regarded as Inferior to Mission Service.--What an important work! And yet we hear mothers sighing for missionary work! If they could only go to some foreign country, they would feel that they were doing something worth while. But to take up the daily duties of the home life and carry them forward seems to them like an exhausting and thankless task. (p. 245) {AH 244.3}

Mothers who sigh for a missionary field have one at hand in their own home circle. . . . Are not the souls of her own children of as much value as the souls of the heathen? With what care and tenderness should she watch their growing minds and connect God with all their thoughts! Who can do this as well as a loving, God-fearing mother? {AH 245.1}

There are some who think that unless they are directly connected with active religious work, they are not doing the will of God; but this is a mistake. Everyone has a work to do for the Master; it is a wonderful work to make home pleasant and all that it ought to be. The humblest talents, if the heart of the recipient is given to God, will make the home life all that God would have it. A bright light will shine forth as the result of wholehearted service to God. Men and women can just as surely serve God by giving earnest heed to the things which they have heard, by educating their children to live and fear to offend God, as can the minister in the pulpit. {AH 245.2}

These women who are doing with ready willingness what their hands find to do, with cheerfulness of spirit aiding their husbands to bear their burdens and training their children for God, are missionaries in the highest sense. {AH 245.3}

Religious Activities Should Not Supersede Care of Family.--If you ignore your duty as a wife and mother and hold out your hands for the Lord to put another class of work in them, be sure that He will not contradict Himself; He points you to the duty you have to do at home. If you have the idea that some work greater and holier than this has been entrusted to you, you are under a deception. By faithfulness in your own home, working for the souls of those who are nearest to you, you may be gaining a fitness (p. 246) to work for Christ in a wider field. But be sure that those who are neglectful of their duty in the home circle are not prepared to work for other souls. {AH 245.4}

The Lord has not called you to neglect your home and your husband and children. He never works in this way; and He never will. . . . Never for a moment suppose that God has given you a work that will necessitate a separation from your precious little flock. Do not leave them to become demoralized by improper associations and to harden their hearts against their mother. This is letting your light shine in a wrong way, altogether; you are making it more difficult for your children to become what God would have them and win heaven at last. God cares for them, and so must you if you claim to be His child. {AH 246.1}

During the first years of their lives is the time in which to work and watch and pray and encourage every good inclination. This work must go on without interruption. You may be urged to attend mothers' meetings and sewing circles, that you may do missionary work; but unless there is a faithful, understanding instructor to be left with your children, it is your duty to answer that the Lord has committed to you another work which you can in no wise neglect. You cannot overwork in any line without becoming disqualified for the work of training your little ones and making them what God would have them be. As Christ's co-worker you must bring them to Him disciplined and trained. {AH 246.2}

Much of the malformation of an ill-trained child's character lies at the mother's door. The mother should not accept burdens in the church work which compel her to neglect her children. The best work in which a mother can engage is to see that no stitches are dropped in the training of her children. . . . (p. 247) {AH 246.3}

In no other way can a mother help the church more than by devoting her time to those who are dependent upon her for instruction and training. {AH 247.1}

Aspirations for a Broader Mission Field Are Vain.-- Some mothers long to engage in missionary labor, while they neglect the simplest duties lying directly in their path. The children are neglected, the home is not made cheerful and happy for the family, scolding and complaining are of frequent occurrence, and the young people grow up feeling that home is the most uninviting of all places. As a consequence, they impatiently look forward to the time when they shall leave it, and it is with little reluctance that they launch out into the great world, unrestrained by home influence and the tender counsel of the hearthstone. {AH 247.2}

The parents, whose aim should have been to bind these young hearts to themselves and guide them aright, squander their God-given opportunities, are blind to the most important duties of their lives, and vainly aspire to work in the broad missionary field. (p. 248) {AH 247.3}

Child Guidance, pp. 221-268 (not included with helps)

Child Guidance, p. 251

Never Strike a Passionate Blow.--Never give your child a passionate blow, unless you want him to learn to fight and quarrel. As parents you stand in the place of God to your children, and you are to be on guard. {CG 251.1}

You may have to punish with the rod; this is sometimes essential, but defer any settlement of the difficulty until you have settled the case with yourselves. Ask yourself, Have I submitted my way and will to God? Have I placed myself where God can manage me, so that I may have wisdom, patience, kindness, and love in dealing with the refractory elements in the home? {CG 251.2}

Caution to a Quick-tempered Father.--Bro. L., have you considered what a child is, and whither it is going? Your children are the younger members of the Lord's family--brothers and sisters entrusted to your care by your heavenly Father for you to train and educate for heaven. When you are handling them so roughly as you have frequently done, do you consider that God will call you to account for this dealing? You should not use your children thus roughly. A child is not a horse or a dog to be ordered about according to your imperious will, or to be controlled under all circumstances by a stick or whip, or by blows with the hand. Some children are so vicious in their tempers that the infliction of pain (p. 252) is necessary, but very many cases are made much worse by this manner of discipline. . . . {CG 251.3}

Child Guidance, p. 250

The Rod Is Sometimes Necessary.--The mother may ask, "Shall I never punish my child?" {CG 250.1}

Whipping may be necessary when other resorts fail, yet she should not use the rod if it is possible to avoid doing so. But if milder measures prove insufficient, punishment that will bring the child to its senses should in love be administered. Frequently one such correction will be enough for a lifetime, to show the child that he does not hold the lines of control. {CG 250.2}

And when this step becomes necessary, the child should be seriously impressed with the thought that this is not done for the gratification of the parent, or to indulge arbitrary authority, but for the child's own good. He should be taught that every fault uncorrected will bring unhappiness to himself and will displease God. Under such discipline children will find their greatest happiness in submitting their wills to the will of the heavenly Father. {CG 250.3}

As the Last Resort.--Many times you will find that if you will reason with them kindly, they will not need to be whipped. And such method of dealing will lead them to have confidence in you. They will make you their confidant. They will come to you and say, I did wrong today (p. 251) at such a time, and I want you to forgive me and to ask God to forgive me. I have gone through scenes like this, and therefore I know. . . . I am thankful that I had courage, when they did wrong, to deal with them firmly, to pray with them, and to keep the standards of God's Word before them. I am glad that I presented to them the promises made to the overcomer, and the rewards offered to those who are faithful. {CG 250.4}