And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:2-6.
Oh, for a clear perception of what we might accomplish if we would learn of Jesus! The springs of heavenly peace and joy, unsealed in the soul of the teacher by the magic words of inspiration, will become a mighty river of influence, to bless all who connect with Him. Do not think that the Bible will become a tiresome book to the children. Under a wise instructor the work will become more and more desirable. It will be to them as the bread of life, and will never grow old. There is in it a freshness and beauty that attract and charm the children and youth. It is like the sun shining upon the earth, giving its brightness and warmth, yet never exhausted. By lessons from the Bible history and doctrine, the children and youth can learn that all other books are inferior to this. They can find here a fountain of mercy and of love.
God’s holy, educating Spirit is in His Word. A light, a new and precious light, shines forth upon every page. Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God speaking to them.
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 of God. 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 fruitful mind a familiarity with divine things, which will be as a barricade against the temptations of the enemy.—The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1898.
Ye Shall Receive Power p. 141
—-Please pray for Emma as she has the stomach flu and is not able to take her medicine. Rose
—-Prayers for my wife and I as we travel. No delays and God’s protection and wisdom for the trip. Nathan
When she entered her pre-teen years, my mother became more and more rebellious. As she neared the age of fifty, she began to feel her need of God and started going back to church. Her faith in God was shaky, but at least she was heading in the right direction. At church, she renewed an old friendship with Luella whose nickname was Wally. A year or two later, Wally’s husband died leaving her with two teenage children to raise. That summer, the children begged their mother to go camping like they had done when their father was alive. At last Wally consented. She asked my mother to go with her. My mother was strictly a city girl, but to please Wally, she went.
They drove out of Kalamazoo and to a nice camping spot by one lakes in the area. The children were excited and my mother was resigned to her fate of spending a whole weekend in the fresh air with spiders, mosquitoes and snakes. The very thought made her wish she had brought her own car, so she could “escape” if need be.
At last they got to the campground and picked out a site to their liking. Wally had taken their pop-up camper, so camping had nearly all the conveniences of home. She was hard at work setting the camper up, when, suddenly, the tongue of the camper slipped and pinned her hand beneath it. Wally let out a yell. Immediately mother saw her predicament. Looking around, she realized that they were alone. There was no strong man to help. The children had run off to explore their new surroundings. My mother prayed for strength to help her friend. Now, my mother has never been a very strong person, but she lifted that camper off from Wally’s hand as if it weighed nothing. She felt as if an angel had lifted it for her. She was amazed and thrilled and very grateful to God. This incident made a deep impression upon her mind. Spiders and lizards and snakes were all forgotten. All weekend long, she reveled in the manifestation of God’s power and love. Now she knew that angels attended her. Now she knew that God was “a very present help in trouble.” Ps 46:1
The next week, my mother went to church full of excitement, sharing with the people there what God had done for her. However, instead of praises to God for His goodness, she was met with explanations of how adrenalin works on the body. She was disappointed and frustrated. She had felt God’s presence helping her, and no one would believe her. The evil one took advantage of the situation and pressed upon her the thought that perhaps the people were right: it was only an adrenaline rush. Suddenly, her weak faith returned and became even weaker. Eventually she left the church never to return.
Just as the unbelief of those churchgoers, ruined a beautiful experience that God had given my mother to draw her closer to Himself; so what we say can strengthen the faith of those around us, or it can cause them to turn away from God. How careful we must be. We never know the impression our words will have on someone. James tells us, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 1:26; 3:2-8
David prayed, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Ps 141:3 This should be our prayer as well, that we may be used to strengthen the faith of others in our Glorious Redeemer.