Relections On Time

(A Stewardship Article by Yvonne Cummins, Willesden SDA Church – July 2022)

What is time? It’s difficult to describe but perhaps indicates that things are constantly occurring and changing, without anyone intervening (the time and tide wait for no man idea). When did time commence? The Bible states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). Beginning implies the start of a time recording system. As God creates, we are introduced to night and day, and the notion that morning and evening constitutes a day. So He is the author of time, without being subjected to the limits of time – He is Immortal!

Time is on a continuum, for after the flood the Lord God Himself ordained: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
Time cannot be escaped! In fact it is “inflicted” on us from the beginning and virtually everything around us reminds of time – we wear timepieces, clock in and out of work, and so on. At our birth, a birth certificate is issued, indicating that we are born at a certain time, on a specific day and month of a particular year. And as we know, time is measured – seconds, become minutes, minutes convert to hours and hours into days, days into months and months into years. And as most of us become familiar with life, we begin to recognise that every day is a countdown to death. Upon death someone will be issued with our death certificate stating the time, date and circumstances of our death.
We also know that tomorrow will become today (if an extra day is granted us), and today will transform to yesterday (and history). Every day we live then, is history in the making. And even, if tomorrow is not granted to us, life has taught us that there will be a tomorrow. What we commit to history through our decision making, generally speaking, cannot be undone, therefore we need to be careful how we use it (time) and make it count!! Good news – the righteousness of Jesus undoes our sins when we repent, and God forgets them (Hebrews 8:12).
So, we are born and die, and the baton of life passes from one generation to the next, similar to a relay. But we are not simply born for the sake of living and dying, God who created time wants us to redeem time, using every opportunity to do good and to have thankful hearts (Ephesians 5:15-20). Therefore, we are not to waste it consumed with trivial pursuits!
Each person is assigned a day in which to die – each of us has a timeline. Psalm 90:10, gives the average lifespan of a human as 70 years, extending to 80 years, if we are strong (implying that there are things which might be done to enhance longevity – the application of health

laws, perhaps). Within the timeline of life, God has promised to extend the life of individuals who honour their parents (Exodus 20:12). One thing is certain, we are finite beings, and none of us knows the time assigned for us to die, hence the Psalmist requests of God: “… teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Using the example of ants, Proverbs 6:6-11 implores us not to be lazy, but to structure/utilise our time well. And in Luke 12:16-20 Jesus warns us not to be like the foolish rich man who stored up much riches, and even planned his retirement, but did not plan a relationship with God. “But God said unto him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall all these things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20). This reminds us to first seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all our needs will be supplied. (Matthew 6:33)
We might even be involved in very meaningful, essential activities, but with the wrong emphasis. This is clearly portrayed in the story related in Luke 10:38-42 where Martha is busy making food preparations etc. for Jesus, whilst her sister, Mary, sits at Jesus’ feet listening to His every word. Martha complains to Jesus about the stance taken by Mary, which she considers as unreasonable behaviour. However, Jesus tells her that Mary’s choice is better. So, prioritise time for God.

Because: “… God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16); crucially, time is set in motion for us to repent of our sins. Of repentance time, there is only now, and 2 Corinthians 6:2 reminds us “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Further, Hebrews 3:15 warns “Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts…”

Simply put, time is now; tomorrow is not promised, therefore we need to review whether we have accepted God’s gift of salvation, which will determine whether we spend ceaseless time (eternity) in God’s presence in the new earth.

Jesus is coming again, and no-one has knowledge of the timing, but He states “Behold I come quickly….” (Revelations 22:20). Here again, we see time reflected, as quickly implies speed, which is related to time.

There is so much more that could be said about time, the subject is vast, but this reflection is intended to be brief, so as Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there are times to engage in specific matters, it’s time to bring this reflection to its closure. Be smart as ants and utilise time well! And like Mary, let the word, presence and focus of God dominate your time.

A Brief Take On “Talents”

(By Yvonne Cummins – June 2022)

We are bombarded with so much on the subject of talent. There are many and varied kinds of “talent shows” particularly on television, including X- Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent, where people showcase their talent[s] to the general public and compete for the winning position. These hopefuls seek to change their status in life, and might derive adoration, a new career pathway and/or fame, and even monetary reward.

We’ve also become acquainted with people who call themselves talent scouts, such as in the game of cricket, football, gymnastics, and ice skating, whose purpose it is to identify talented individuals, and make a name for themselves in the bargain. Generally speaking, this is the worldly perception of, and utilisation of talents.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines talent as “… a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught.”

Let’s take a look at Scripture to see God’s perspective. Exodus 35 provides a very good illustration.
Moses said to the Children of Israel “The Lord has chosen Bezalel, the son of Uri from the tribe of Judah, to work on the Sanctuary. He has placed His Spirit on him and given him skill, ability and knowledge in all types of artistic works….” (Exodus 35:30)

There are a number of important things highlighted by this Scripture. Here we see that Moses doesn’t play the part of the talent scout, but points out the originator of

the talent as being the Lord. And God chooses specific people to endow (in this case Bezalel).
The Lord’s purpose for endowing Bezalel was for him to do works on the Sanctuary. In other words, God’s expectation when He gives us a talent is that it be utilised predominantly for the benefit of God’s works, in this particular example to work on the Sanctuary.

When God endows an individual with talents, the anointing of the Spirit of God is essential for that person to fulfil the ordained works with skill, ability and knowledgably.

We note that Bezalel was gifted with the ability to do various types of works. Therefore, is possible for an individual to be empowered with one, or several gifts or talents. We can also conclude, that without the Holy Spirit’s anointing Bezalel would have been just an ordinary, very good craftsman, like those whom God called him to teach!

Further, Exodus 35:34 indicates how God wants Bezalel’s talents to be utilised: “The Lord has given him and his assistant Oholiab son of Ahisamach the skill to teach.
From this statement, we can deduce that the Lord can choose to group skilled individuals together and give them clear roles. Bezalel is the main person, Oholiab is his assistant. It is also very clear to see from this example that Bezalel and Oholiab are both expected to teach and to skill others to work for the Lord. God therefore wants an attitude of sharing and building up/ enabling of others. He doesn’t want those He’s gifted to keep it selfishly.

But the ability to teach is not the only gift bestowed on Bezalel, and his assistant, we are given an indication of some of the talents God bestows as Moses states: “He wants him to design things to be made out of gold, silver and bronze.” (Exodus 35:32). “He wants him to cut and set precious stones, to carve wood and to use his artistic craftsmanship to help me to make His Sanctuary.” (Exodus 35:33). “He has given them skill as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers and weavers of fine linen and yarn dyed blue, purple and scarlet. They will do this with the skill of trained designers and craftsman.” (Exodus 35:35)

According to 1 Peter 4:10 each of us have some of God’s gifts which we should use to help others, “like good stewards, administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

There’s also an attitude which should exist when using our talents, i.e. “Whoever serves should do it with the strength that God has given Him, so that God will be praised through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:12).

So, let God reveal your talent[s] and use them, not for self-glorification but for the building of God’s kingdom and for His glory!

The Body Temple

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Besides the spiritual implications of this verse, we understand that we are to care for our bodies, since God gives them to us for his glorious purposes. They ultimately belong to him.

It is also important to note Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:29-30 (ESV) that says, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church….” He makes the implicit assumption that we will naturally want to take care of our physical bodies.

Unfortunately, we are often guilty of taking our bodies for granted, abusing and/or neglecting them in various ways. This ought not to be so. Many of us fail to properly nourish our bodies through a healthy and well-balanced diet. We don’t take the time or effort to exercise like we should. Some people abuse their bodies through overeating, excessive consumption of alcohol, illicit drug usage, and even intentional self-harm.

Our bodies are intended to be holy instruments for God’s special usage. We are also supposed to enjoy our bodies and their remarkable functional capacities.

Our bodies are indeed amazing creations. Your nose has the capability of remembering 50,000 different scents. Your taste buds are replaced every 10 days. Your body sheds about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. Your blood vessels could circle the globe that is 100,000miles of blood vessels in an adult human body.

While awake, the human brain produces enough electricity to power a light bulb. Human bones are ounce for ounce stronger than steel, though they are composed of 31 percent water. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colours. If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles.

Your brain uses 20 percent of the total oxygen and blood in your body. In a lifetime, your brain’s long-term memory can hold as many as 1 quadrillion (1 million billion) separate bits of information.

Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day pumping 1.5 million barrels of blood during your lifetime, enough to fill 200 train tank cars. When you take one step you are using up to 200muscles. These are just small fraction of the wonders of the human body.

Yes, your body is an amazing organism. It was made by and belongs to God. Therefore, take good care of it and use it for God’s purposes.

If you don’t take care of your body- your temple – where are you going to live?

Bible Teaching and Study (3)

It is not enough to know what others have thought or learned about the Bible. Everyone must in the judgment give account of himself to God, and each should now learn for himself what is truth. But in order to do effective study, the interest of the pupil must be enlisted. Especially by the one who has to deal with children and youth differing widely in disposition, training, and habits of thought, this is a matter not to be lost sight of. In teaching children the Bible, we may gain much by observing the bent of their minds, the things in which they are interested, and arousing their interest to see what the Bible says about these things. He who created us, with our various aptitudes, has in His word given something for everyone. As the pupils see that the lessons of the Bible apply to their own lives, teach them to look to it as a counsellor.

Help them also to appreciate its wonderful beauty. Many books of no real value, books that are exciting and unhealthful are recommended, or at least permitted to be used, because of their supposed literary value. Why should we direct our children to drink of these polluted streams when they may have free access to the pure fountains of the word of God? The Bible has a fullness, a strength, a depth of meaning, that is inexhaustible. Encourage the children and youth to seek out its treasures both of thought and of expression.

As the beauty of these precious things attracts their minds, a softening, subduing power will touch their hearts. They will be drawn to Him who has thus revealed Himself to them. And there are few who will not desire to know more of His works and ways. {Education Pg. 188}

Bible Teaching and Study (2)

The use of object lessons, blackboards, maps, and pictures, will be an aid in explaining these lessons, and fixing them in the memory. Parents and teachers should constantly seek for improved methods. The teaching of the Bible should have our freshest thought, our best methods, and our most earnest effort.

In arousing and strengthening a love for Bible study, much depends on the use of the hour of worship. The hours of morning and evening worship should be the sweetest and most helpful of the day. Let it be understood that into these hours no troubled, unkind thoughts are to intrude; that parents and children assemble to meet with Jesus, and to invite into the home the presence of holy angels. Let the services be brief and full of life, adapted to the occasion, and varied from time to time. Let all join in the Bible reading and learn and often repeat God’s law. It will add to the interest of the children if they are sometimes permitted to select the reading. Question them upon it, and let them ask questions. Mention anything that will serve to illustrate its meaning. When the service is not thus made too lengthy, let the little ones take part in prayer, and let them join in song, if it be but a single verse.

To make such a service what it should be, thought should be given to preparation. And parents should take time daily for Bible study with their children. No doubt it will require effort and planning and some sacrifice to accomplish this; but the effort will be richly repaid. {Education Pg. 186}

Reasons for Reform – Importance of Health Principles

I have been shown that the principles that were given us in the early days of the message are as important and should be regarded just as conscientiously today as they were then. There are some who have never followed the light given on the question of diet. It is now time to take the light from under the bushel, and let it shine forth in clear, bright rays. CD 23.3

The principles of healthful living mean a great deal to us individually and as a people. CD 23.4

All are now being tested and proved. We have been baptized into Christ, and if we will act our part by separating from everything that would drag us down and make us what we ought not to be, there will be given us strength to grow up into Christ, who is our living head, and we shall see the salvation of God. CD 23.5

Only when we are intelligent in regard to the principles of healthful living, can we be fully aroused to see the evils resulting from improper diet. Those who, after seeing their mistakes, have courage to change their habits will find that the reformatory process requires a struggle and much perseverance; but when correct tastes are once formed, they will realize that the use of the food which they formerly regarded as harmless, was slowly but surely laying the foundation for dyspepsia and other diseases.— CD 24.1.

Bible Teaching and Study (1)

In childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus studied the Scriptures. As a little child He was daily at His mother’s knee taught from the scrolls of the prophets. In His youth the early morning and the evening twilight often found Him alone on the mountainside or among the trees of the forest, spending a quiet hour in prayer and the study of God’s word. During His ministry His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures testifies to His diligence in their study. And since He gained knowledge as we may gain it, His wonderful power, both mental and spiritual, is a testimony to the value of the Bible as a means of education.

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. Thus, by illustrations best suited to the child’s comprehension, parents and teachers may begin very early to fulfil the Lord’s injunction concerning His precepts: “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sit in thine house, and when thou walk by the way, and when thou lie down, and when thou rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7. {Education Pg. 185, 186}

Reasons for Reform – Why the Light on Health Reform

The Lord has let His light shine upon us in these last days, that the gloom and darkness which have been gathering in past generations because of sinful indulgence, might in some degree be dispelled, and that the train of evils which have resulted because of intemperate eating and drinking, might be lessened. CD 22.2
God has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us in these last days, that by walking in the light we may escape many of the dangers to which we shall be exposed. Satan is working with great power to lead men to indulge appetite, gratify inclination, and spend their days in heedless folly. He presents attractions in a life of selfish enjoyment and of sensual indulgence. Intemperance saps the energies of both mind and body. He who is thus overcome, has placed himself upon Satan’s ground, where he will be tempted and annoyed, and finally controlled at pleasure by the enemy of all righteousness.—CD 22.4

In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary,— temperance in labour, temperance in eating and drinking. Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth.— CD 23.1
Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature—which are the laws of God—are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.— CD 23

God in Nature (3)

So far as possible, let the child from his earliest years be placed where this wonderful lesson book shall be open before him. Let him behold the glorious scenes painted by the great Master Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens, let him become acquainted with the wonders of earth and sea, let him watch the unfolding mysteries of the changing seasons, and, in all His works, learn of the Creator.

In no other way can the foundation of a true education be so firmly and surely laid. Yet even the child, as he comes in contact with nature, will see cause for perplexity. He cannot but recognize the working of antagonistic forces. It is here that nature needs an interpreter. Looking upon the evil manifest even in the natural world, all have the same sorrowful lesson to learn—”An enemy hath done this.” Matthew 13:28.

Only in the light that shines from Calvary can nature’s teaching be read aright. Through the story of Bethlehem and the cross let it be shown how good is to conquer evil, and how every blessing that comes to us is a gift of redemption. {Education Pg. 101}

Reasons for Reform – A Pitiful Offering

Knowledge must be gained in regard to how to eat, and drink, and dress so as to preserve health. Sickness is caused by violating the laws of health; it is the result of violating nature’s law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow men, is to obey the laws of God, which include the laws of health. If we are sick, we impose a weary tax upon our friends, and unfit ourselves for discharging our duties to our families and to our neighbours. And when premature death is the result of our violation of nature’s law, we bring sorrow and suffering to others; we deprive our neighbours of the help we ought to render them in living; we rob our families of the comfort and help we might render them, and rob God of the service He claims of us to advance His glory. Then, are we not, in the worst sense, transgressors of God’s law? CD 21.2

But God is all-pitiful, gracious, and tender, and when light comes to those who have injured their health by sinful indulgences, and they are convinced of sin, and repent and seek pardon, He accepts the poor offering rendered to Him, and receives them. Oh, what tender mercy that He does not refuse the remnant of the abused life of the suffering, repenting sinner! In His gracious mercy, He saves these souls as by fire. But what an inferior, pitiful sacrifice at best, to offer to a pure and holy God! Noble faculties have been paralyzed by wrong habits of sinful indulgence. The aspirations are perverted, and the soul and body defaced. CD 22.1

God in Nature (2)

To him who learns thus to interpret its teachings, all nature becomes illuminated; the world is a lesson book, life a school. The unity of man with nature and with God, the universal dominion of law, the results of transgression, cannot fail of impressing the mind and moulding the character.

These are lessons that our children need to learn. To the little child, not yet capable of learning from the printed page or of being introduced to the routine of the schoolroom, nature presents an unfailing source of instruction and delight. The heart not yet hardened by contact with evil is quick to recognize the Presence that pervades all created things. The ear as yet undulled by the world’s clamour is attentive to the Voice that speaks through nature’s utterances. And for those of older years, needing continually its silent reminders of the spiritual and eternal, nature’s teaching will be no less a source of pleasure and of instruction. As the dwellers in Eden learned from nature’s pages, as Moses discerned God’s handwriting on the Arabian plains and mountains, and the child Jesus on the hillsides of Nazareth, so the children of today may learn of Him. The unseen is illustrated by the seen. On everything upon the earth, from the loftiest tree of the forest to the lichen that clings to the rock, from the boundless ocean to the tiniest shell on the shore, they may behold the image and superscription of God. {Education Pg. 100}

God in Nature (1)

Upon all created things is seen the impress of the Deity. Nature testifies of God. The susceptible mind, brought in contact with the miracle and mystery of the universe, cannot but recognize the working of infinite power. Not by its own inherent energy does the earth produce its bounties, and year by year continue its motion around the sun. An unseen hand guides the planets in their circuit of the heavens. A mysterious life pervades all nature—a life that sustains the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, that lives in the insect atom which floats in the summer breeze, that wings the flight of the swallow and feeds the young ravens which cry, that brings the bud to blossom and the flower to fruit.

The same power that upholds nature, is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart’s action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action. For all the objects of His creation the condition is the same—a life sustained by receiving the life of God, a life exercised in harmony with the Creator’s will. To transgress His law, physical, mental, or moral, is to place one’s self out of harmony with the universe, to introduce discord, anarchy, ruin.
{Education Pg. 99,100}

Reasons for Reform (6)

Willful ignorance increases sin

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:15, 19, 20. Our bodies are Christ’s purchased property, and we are not at liberty to do with them as we please. Man has done this. He has treated his body as if its laws had no penalty. Through perverted appetite its organs and powers have become enfeebled, diseased, and crippled. And these results which Satan has brought about by his own specious temptations, he uses to taunt God with. He presents before God the human body that Christ has purchased as His property; and what an unsightly representation of his Maker man is! Because man has sinned against his body, and has corrupted his ways, God is dishonored. 

 When men and women are truly converted, they will conscientiously regard the laws of life that God has established in their being, thus seeking to avoid physical, mental, and moral feebleness. Obedience to these laws must be made a matter of personal duty. We ourselves must suffer the ills of violated law. We must answer to God for our habits and practices. Therefore, the question for us is not, “What will the world say?” but, “How shall I, claiming to be a Christian, treat the habitation God has given me? Shall I work for my highest temporal and spiritual good by keeping my body as a temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or shall I sacrifice myself to the world’s ideas and practices?”—Testimonies for the Church 6:369

Education and Character

True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information it, values power; above power, goodness; above intellectual acquirements, character. The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle. {Education 225.1}

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.” “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright.” Proverbs 4:7; 15:2. True education imparts this wisdom. It teaches the best use not only of one but of all our powers and acquirements. Thus, it covers the whole circle of obligation—to ourselves, to the world, and to God. {Education 225.2}

Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now. Never was any previous generation called to meet issues so momentous; never before were young men and young women confronted by perils so great as confront them today. {Education 225.3}

Reasons for Reform (5)

Sin of taking a course which needlessly expends vitality or beclouds the brain

It is as truly a sin to violate the laws of our being as it is to break the ten commandments. To do either is to break God’s laws. Those who transgress the law of God in their physical organism, will be inclined to violate the law of God spoken from Sinai.

To keep the body in a healthy condition, in order that all parts of the living machinery may act harmoniously, should be a study of our life. The children of God cannot glorify Him with sickly bodies or dwarfed minds. Those who indulge in any species of intemperance, either in eating or drinking, waste their physical energies and weaken moral power.— Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 53, 1890

Since the laws of nature are the laws of God, it is plainly our duty to give these laws careful study. We should study their requirements in regard to our own bodies, and conform to them. Ignorance in these things is sin. Counsel on Diets and Food pg.18

Source and aim of true education (5)

Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness—godlikeness—is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But his efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth. {Education 18.3}

He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and moulding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work. As he awakens a desire to reach God’s ideal, he presents an education that is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe; an education that cannot be completed in this life, but that will be continued in the life to come; an education that secures to the successful student his passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher grade, the school above. {Education 19.1}

Reasons for Reform (4)

A Question of Obedience

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Mark 12:30

The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and cooperate with God. Every law governing the human machinery is to be considered just as truly divine in origin, in character, and in importance as the word of God. Every careless, inattentive action, any abuse put upon the Lord’s wonderful mechanism, by disregarding His specified laws in the human habitation, is a violation of God’s law. We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful. – Counsels on Diets and Foods pg. 17.2

God is as truly the author of physical laws as He is author of the moral law. His law is written with His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every faculty, which has been entrusted to man. – CD 17.2

Source and aim of true education (4)

Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator— individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen. Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and to act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions. {Education 17.2}

Reasons for Reform (3)

Seek for Perfection

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 20:11

God desires us to reach the standard of perfection made possible for us by the gift of Christ. He calls upon us to make our choice on the right side, to connect with heavenly agencies, to adopt principles that will restore in us the divine image. In His written word and in the great book of nature He has revealed the principles of life. It is our work to obtain a knowledge of these principles, and by obedience to cooperate with Him in restoring health to the body as well as to the soul.—The Ministry of Healing, 114, 115, 1905  – Counsels on Diets and Foods 16.1

The living organism is God’s property. It belongs to Him by creation and by redemption; and by a misuse of any of our powers we rob God of the honor due to Him.— CD. pg. 16.2

Source and aim of true education (3)

Since God is the source of all true knowledge, it is, as we have seen, the first object of education to direct our minds to His own revelation of Himself. Adam and Eve received knowledge through direct communion with God; and they learned of Him through His works. All created things, in their original perfection, were an expression of the thought of God. To Adam and Eve nature was teeming with divine wisdom. But by transgression man was cut off from learning of God through direct communion and, to a great degree, through His works. The earth, marred and defiled by sin, reflects but dimly the Creator’s glory. It is true that His object lessons are not obliterated. Upon every page of the great volume of His created works may still be traced His handwriting. Nature still speaks of her Creator. Yet these revelations are partial and imperfect. And in our fallen state, with weakened powers and restricted vision, we are incapable of interpreting aright. We need the fuller revelation of Himself that God has given in His written word. {Education 16.3}

The Holy Scriptures are the perfect standard of truth, and as such should be given the highest place in education. To obtain an education worthy of the name, we must receive a knowledge of God, the Creator, and of Christ, the Redeemer, as they are revealed in the sacred word. {Education 17.1}

Reasons for Reform (2)

Choice of Life or Death

I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 ERV

Every man has the opportunity, to a great extent, of making himself whatever he chooses to be. The blessings of this life, and also of the immortal state, are within his reach. He may build up a character of solid worth, gaining new strength at every step. He may advance daily in knowledge and wisdom, conscious of new delights as he progresses, adding virtue to virtue, grace to grace. His faculties will improve by use; the more wisdom he gains, the greater will be his capacity for acquiring. His intelligence, knowledge, and virtue will thus develop into greater strength and more perfect symmetry. – Counsel on Diets and Food. 15.3

On the other hand, he may allow his powers to rust out for want of use, or to be perverted through evil habits, lack of self-control, or moral and religious stamina. His course then tends downward; he is disobedient to the law of God and to the laws of health. CD 15.4