Devotional, Principles of True Education

Getting Rid of Little Foxes

We have been in this home 13 years.  We’re thinking we’d like another home with a few more acres.  Not right now, but soon.  Looking towards a future sale, I thought, “Why wait?” Let’s get started now on clearing the house of things not worth packing up for a move.   I challenged myself to fill a certain number of bags and boxes for donation or trash each week.  It seemed like the more I decluttered the house, the more clutter surfaced.  It became a frustrating never-ending battle.  The Lord put it on my heart to stop and give this problem some deliberate thought.   How could a seemingly frugal household constantly produce so many bags of clutter?   I’m not a shopper. I don’t go to very many stores, especially the home goods type stores.  I’m not even a good window shopper.  Where was all this stuff coming from?

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.  Song of Solomon 2:15

The answer came one afternoon as I picked up a sweet little fall decor item.  So pretty!  Only $1!  It will look nice on the mantel!  There is your problem, the Lord told me.  You don’t buy big ticket items, but you think nothing of throwing a few $1 items in your basket each week.  They add up.  You don’t notice it at first, however slowly but surely, you are building a collection of clutter.  Then suddenly you are overwhelmed .   

Then the Lord said to me, This goes way beyond knick-knacks, Ann.

Ouch.

It is the little things of life that develop the spirit in men and women and determine the character…. In words, in tones, in gestures, in looks, you can represent the spirit of Jesus. He who neglects these little things, and yet flatters himself that he is ready to do wonderful things for the Master, will be in danger of failing altogether. Life is not made up of great sacrifices and wonderful achievements, but of little things.”  -My Life Today, p.172

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotional, Home Life, Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

“Our religious obligations begin in serving God faithfully in the home life. I am urged to bear earnest testimony to parents in public and private, that they may be led to devote all their powers in sanctified service for Christ. I am instructed to urge upon our people the need of being imbued with the Spirit of God. This Spirit will teach believers to work in harmony with Christ whenever and wherever opportunity offers. As different families among our people have been presented before me, I have been shown their great need of the converting power of God.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that we might have a pattern of true holiness. Let parents study the pattern, that they may become true laborers together with God for the salvation of their children.”

Letter 90, 1911

Devotional, Encouragement, Prayer

Choose Your Path

“I once read of an “old man who stood upon the border of the closing year, and looked forth from his window upon the blue heavens bright with stars, and upon the cold earth white with snow, and he thought no heart could be so hopeless and joyless as his. He saw the open grave before him, and behind him the sins and sorrows of a wasted life. He had followed the path of his own choosing for happiness, and he found it not. He was wasted in body, and his soul was filled with remorse.
“The days of his youth came back to his memory like reproachful specters, and he saw himself again at the point where two paths met,—the one leading to the heavenly home of peace, and the other leading to darkness and despair. He saw, he felt, the fearful mistake he had made in choosing the dark path, and following the leading of Satan, when angels of God were waiting and anxious to show him the path of light. Life to him was a failure. Distracted with grief and disappointment, he cried in agony, ‘O my Father, give me back the choose-pathdays of my youth! Let me stand once more at the dividing ways, that I may choose the path of light.’ But there was no Father’s voice to answer, and the days of youth would not come back at his call. He thought of the companions of his youth who had chosen the better path, and he wished that he had gone with them. He wished that he had died in his infancy rather than to have lived a wasted life as he had done. With bitter remorse and blinding tears, he bowed his head and cried again, ‘Oh that the days of my youth would come back! oh for a touch from the guiding angel’s hand that once was put forth to lead me in the path of peace and holiness.
“And his youth did come back; for all that he had seen and said and felt was only the prophetic dream of one who was still young in years, yet had been rapidly growing old in sin. In an hour of sadness and weariness with the world, he had seen, by anticipation, the remorse and disappointment to which he was hastening in his wanderings from God; and he awoke with joy to find that there was yet time for him to choose the path of peace, of happiness, and of Heaven.”
I hope that the youth who read this will reflect in regard to the past, the present, and the future. Decide now, at the commencement of the new year, that you will choose the path of righteousness, that you will be earnest and true-hearted, and that life with you shall not prove a mistake. Go forward, guided by the heavenly angels; be courageous; be enterprising; let your light shine; and may the words of inspiration be applicable to you,—“I write unto you, young men, because ye are strong and have overcome the wicked one.” Listen to the words of the great apostle, echoing down the ages: “Quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13. Men who are in the battle against falsity and wickedness, are found true and noble. They are men who will fight to the last rather than yield the contest. I close by wishing you a Happy New Year.”
Youth’s Instructor, Jan. 5, 1881
Devotional

A Promise Not Appreciated

“Christ declared that the divine influence of the Spirit was to be with His followers to the end of time. But the promise is not appreciated as it should be, and therefore its fulfillment is not seen as it might be…. Minor matters occupy the attention, and the bibledivine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in its infinite plenitude….

My brethren and sisters, plead for the Holy Spirit. God stands back of every promise He has made. With your Bibles in your hands say, “I have done as Thou hast said. I present Thy promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’” (Matthew 7:7). Christ declares, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do…” (John 14:13).

In Heavenly Places, 334

Devotional, Parenting

Your Fervent Prayers of Faith

Those who keep the law of God look upon their children with indefinable feelings of hope and fear, wondering what part they will act in the great conflict that is just before them. The anxious mother questions, “What stand will they take? What can I do to prepare them to act well their part, so that they will be the recipients of eternal glory?” Great responsibilities rest upon you, mothers. Although you may not stand in national councils, … you may do a great work for God and your country. You may educate your children. You may aid them to develop characters that will not be swayed or influenced to do evil, but will sway and influence others to do right. By your fervent prayers of faith you can move the arm that moves the world.

The Adventist Home, 264

 

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