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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« on: March 14, 2016, 05:28:36 PM »
Chap. 56 - Blessing the Children


Listen to Blessing the Children

 






    Jesus was ever a lover of children. He accepted their childish sympathy and their open, unaffected love. The grateful praise from their pure lips was music in His ears, and refreshed His spirit when oppressed by contact with crafty and hypocritical men. Wherever the Saviour went, the benignity of His countenance, and His gentle, kindly manner won the love and confidence of children. 
     Among the Jews it was customary for children to be brought to some rabbi, that he might lay his hands upon them in blessing; but the Saviour's disciples thought His work too important to be interrupted in this way. When the mothers came to Him with their little ones, the disciples looked on them with disfavor. They thought these children too young to be benefited by a visit to Jesus, and concluded that He would be displeased at their presence. But it was the disciples with whom He was displeased. The Saviour understood the care and burden of the mothers who were seeking to train their children according to the word of God. He had heard their prayers. He Himself had drawn them into His presence.
     One mother with her child had left her home to find Jesus. On the way she told a neighbor her errand, and the neighbor wanted to have Jesus bless her children. Thus several mothers came together, with their little ones. Some of the children had passed beyond the years of infancy to childhood and youth. When the mothers made known their desire, Jesus heard with sympathy the timid, tearful request. But He waited to see how the disciples would treat them. When He saw them send the mothers away, thinking to do Him a favor, He showed them their error, saying, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." He took the children in His arms, He laid His hands upon them, and gave them the blessing for which they came. 
     The mothers were comforted. They returned to their homes strengthened and blessed by the words of Christ. They were encouraged to take up their burden with new cheerfulness, and to work hopefully for their children. The mothers of today are to receive His words with the same faith. Christ is as verily a personal Saviour today as when He lived a man among men. He is as verily the helper of mothers today as when He gathered the little ones to His arms in Judea. The children of our hearths are as much the purchase of His blood as were the children of long ago.   
     Jesus knows the burden of every mother's heart. He who had a mother that struggled with poverty and privation sympathizes with every mother in her labors. He who made a long journey in order to relieve the anxious heart of a Canaanite woman will do as much for the mothers of today. He who gave back to the widow of Nain her only son, and who in His agony upon the cross remembered His own mother, is touched today by the mother's sorrow. In every grief and every need He will give comfort and help.   
     Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not," still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments. 
     In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life. 
     It is still true that children are the most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received. The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. They need to be educated in spiritual things, and parents should give them every advantage, that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.   
     Fathers and mothers should look upon their children as younger members of the Lord's family, committed to them to educate for heaven. The lessons that we ourselves learn from Christ we should give to our children, as the young minds can receive them, little by little opening to them the beauty of the principles of heaven. Thus the Christian home becomes a school, where the parents serve as underteachers, while Christ Himself is the chief instructor.   
     In working for the conversion of our children, we should not look for violent emotion as the essential evidence of conviction of sin. Nor is it necessary to know the exact time when they are converted. We should teach them to bring their sins to Jesus, asking His forgiveness, and believing that He pardons and receives them as He received the children when He was personally on earth. 
     As the mother teaches her children to obey her because they love her, she is teaching them the first lessons in the Christian life. The mother's love represents to the child the love of Christ, and the little ones who trust and obey their mother are learning to trust and obey the Saviour.   
     Jesus was the pattern for children, and He was also the father's example. He spoke as one having authority, and His word was with power; yet in all His intercourse with rude and violent men He did not use one unkind or discourteous expression. The grace of Christ in the heart will impart a heaven-born dignity and sense of propriety. It will soften whatever is harsh, and subdue all that is coarse and unkind. It will lead fathers and mothers to treat their children as intelligent beings, as they themselves would like to be treated.   
     Parents, in the training of your children, study the lessons that God has given in nature. If you would train a pink, or rose, or lily, how would you do it? Ask the gardener by what process he makes every branch and leaf to flourish so beautifully, and to develop in symmetry and loveliness. He will tell you that it was by no rude touch, no violent effort; for this would only break the delicate stems. It was by little attentions, often repeated. He moistened the soil, and protected the growing plants from the fierce blasts and from the scorching sun, and God caused them to flourish and to blossom into loveliness. In dealing with your children, follow the method of the gardener. By gentle touches, by loving ministrations, seek to fashion their characters after the pattern of the character of Christ. 
     Encourage the expression of love toward God and toward one another. The reason why there are so many hardhearted men and women in the world is that true affection has been regarded as weakness, and has been discouraged and repressed. The better nature of these persons was stifled in childhood; and unless the light of divine love shall melt away their cold selfishness, their happiness will be forever ruined. If we wish our children to possess the tender spirit of Jesus, and the sympathy that angels manifest for us, we must encourage the generous, loving impulses of childhood. 
     Teach the children to see Christ in nature. Take them out into the open air, under the noble trees, into the garden; and in all the wonderful works of creation teach them to see an expression of His love. Teach them that He made the laws which govern all living things, that He has made laws for us, and that these laws are for our happiness and joy. Do not weary them with long prayers and tedious exhortations, but through nature's object lessons teach them obedience to the law of God.  {DA 516.3} 
     As you win their confidence in you as followers of Christ, it will be easy to teach them of the great love wherewith He has loved us. As you try to make plain the truths of salvation, and point the children to Christ as a personal Saviour, angels will be by your side. The Lord will give to fathers and mothers grace to interest their little ones in the precious story of the Babe of Bethlehem, who is indeed the hope of the world.   
     When Jesus told the disciples not to forbid the children to come to Him, He was speaking to His followers in all ages,--to officers of the church, to ministers, helpers, and all Christians. Jesus is drawing the children, and He bids us, Suffer them to come; as if He would say, They will come if you do not hinder them.   
     Let not your un-Christlike character misrepresent Jesus. Do not keep the little ones away from Him by your coldness and harshness. Never give them cause to feel that heaven will not be a pleasant place to them if you are there. Do not speak of religion as something that children cannot understand, or act as if they were not expected to accept Christ in their childhood. Do not give them the false impression that the religion of Christ is a religion of gloom, and that in coming to the Saviour they must give up all that makes life joyful.   
     As the Holy Spirit moves upon the hearts of the children, co-operate with His work. Teach them that the Saviour is calling them, that nothing can give Him greater joy than for them to give themselves to Him in the bloom and freshness of their years.   
     The Saviour regards with infinite tenderness the souls whom He has purchased with His own blood. They are the claim of His love. He looks upon them with unutterable longing. His heart is drawn out, not only to the best-behaved children, but to those who have by inheritance objectionable traits of character. Many parents do not understand how much they are responsible for these traits in their children. They have not the tenderness and wisdom to deal with the erring ones whom they have made what they are. But Jesus looks upon these children with pity. He traces from cause to effect. 
     The Christian worker may be Christ's agent in drawing these children to the Saviour. By wisdom and tact he may bind them to his heart, he may give them courage and hope, and through the grace of Christ may see them transformed in character, so that of them it may be said, "Of such is the kingdom of God." 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2016, 04:35:18 AM »
Ever consider how God works with babies and children? Is there a difference between the children of those who are converted and those who are not?  There is a difference between children.  Some are very selfish, others are not.  There are promises for converted mothers.

     Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments.   
     In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life.  DA 512. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 09:58:00 AM »
The mothers were comforted. They returned to their homes strengthened and blessed by the words of Christ. They were encouraged to take up their burden with new cheerfulness, and to work hopefully for their children. The mothers of today are to receive His words with the same faith. Christ is as verily a personal Saviour today as when He lived a man among men. He is as verily the helper of mothers today as when He gathered the little ones to His arms in Judea. The children of our hearths are as much the purchase of His blood as were the children of long ago.   
     Jesus knows the burden of every mother's heart. He who had a mother that struggled with poverty and privation sympathizes with every mother in her labors. He who made a long journey in order to relieve the anxious heart of a Canaanite woman will do as much for the mothers of today. He who gave back to the widow of Nain her only son, and who in His agony upon the cross remembered His own mother, is touched today by the mother's sorrow. In every grief and every need He will give comfort and help.   
     Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not," still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments. 

I am not a mother but I know several and I've seen struggles that they go through. This ought to be great encouragement to the mothers reading here. Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and ever more!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 06:53:47 AM »
     In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life. 

This statement contains a very important truth that helps us to understand what was posted previously: "Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments." 

There are many deceptions being taught in the church. These two statements of truth will, if accepted, help to block the reception of one such deception. Notice there is a condition to having the divine Spirit mold our little ones from their earliest moments. It is not automatic.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 07:26:34 AM »
Amen, Richard! While the guidance is not automatic, what a blessing a child experiences from a praying, Christian mother! The good character is better able to receive the influences of the Holy Spirit to lead the child, though possessing a sinful nature, to come to the point of surrendering the heart entirely to Jesus to experience the new birth.

I resonate from my own experience with the following paragraph:

It is still true that children are the most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received. The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. They need to be educated in spiritual things, and parents should give them every advantage, that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.   

Early on I was homeschooled and my mother helped me to accept Jesus when I was five, and to be able to grow to love God's word. Though she knows it not (she passed away in 2002 when I was 15), I am largely who I am today because of how she allowed Jesus to use her to point me to Christ. I praise the Lord for Jesus' tender love for children, and that even now that I am 29, I can make Solomon's confession my own:

"And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in" (1 Kings 3:7). We need Jesus constantly!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 09:33:16 AM »
Amen!! What a testimony for mothers and fathers who have the responsibility for rearing children. What the children hear and see is what is placed in their minds. It is this that enables the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth more easily than for those mothers and fathers who had something to do which they considered of greater importance than the rearing of their children. For parents reading this, take heed. We reap what we sow and this applies to the salvation of our children to a great degree.

     In childhood and youth the character is most impressible. The power of self-control should then be acquired. By the fireside and at the family board influences are exerted whose results are as enduring as eternity. More than any natural endowment, the habits established in early years decide whether a man will be victorious or vanquished in the battle of life. Youth is the sowing time. It determines the character of the harvest, for this life and for the life to come.  DA 101.
 

For those of us who did not form a holy character when young, the battle is much more difficult, but God's grace is sufficient if we will breathe it into our hearts daily.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 05:50:15 AM »
     Teach the children to see Christ in nature. Take them out into the open air, under the noble trees, into the garden; and in all the wonderful works of creation teach them to see an expression of His love. Teach them that He made the laws which govern all living things, that He has made laws for us, and that these laws are for our happiness and joy. Do not weary them with long prayers and tedious exhortations, but through nature's object lessons teach them obedience to the law of God. 
     As you win their confidence in you as followers of Christ, it will be easy to teach them of the great love wherewith He has loved us. As you try to make plain the truths of salvation, and point the children to Christ as a personal Saviour, angels will be by your side. The Lord will give to fathers and mothers grace to interest their little ones in the precious story of the Babe of Bethlehem, who is indeed the hope of the world.   


The same principles apply to teaching those who are not children. Often many cannot endure Spiritual truths for very long. Short lessons often repeated is wise counsel.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 11:27:59 AM »
Amen, Richard! As children of God, we need to follow the lessons in this chapter for our own character building and in the training and equipping of others for the kingdom of heaven. We need to have the graces that many children possess more readily--to be teachable and willing to follow the lovely Jesus!

I love how this paragraph reveals the grace of God's Holy Spirit being able to guide the mother in forming the character of her children.

Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not," still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments. {DA 512.3}

As we read of John the Baptist in this paragraph, we cannot take this to mean that John the Baptist was somehow sinless or that he did not need to be converted. But being filled with the Holy Spirit made it much easier for Zacharias and Elisabeth to rear him for his mission. So it may be with every child's parents. Molding character and conversion are not the same work--but a character that is molded and formed in right lines is much easier to lead to conversion! Praise the Lord! That is my experience with the blessing I received from my mother and her many prayers and Bible lessons early on in my life. I am so thankful for godly mothers!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2016, 06:44:19 AM »
I just love how balanced and complete the gospel presentation is in this chapter in reference to the privilege that a praying Christian mother has, and also the need for children to experience conversion. Some want to teach that if a child has a praying Christian mother, and is filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, that this is equated to conversion, and that that child (if guided correctly) could "never sin" just like Jesus. But what saith the Scriptures on this point?

Romans 3:23-24
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.


Christ is the only sinless one. Apart from a conversion experience for ourselves in which we repent of our sins, we have no spiritual life. The Holy Spirit that filled John the Baptist from the womb was a great blessing to him in forming character and helping the mother to form his character aright. But John the Baptist was a sinner who needed a Savior, just as you and I need a Savior. Without our lovely Jesus, we can do not good thing.

Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not," still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments.  {DA 512.3}

The promise of the Spirit's aid to "mold our little ones" is not the same thing as conversion. It is VERY WELL to train up children in the way of righteousness--but this is not the same as when they surrender their heart, mind, and will to Christ entirely. But by learning to surrender their will to the love and compassion manifested in their mother and father (if they are blessed with praying, Christian parents), a child learns these lessons so readily that conversion is not necessarily a difficult process because the child does not have so many objectionable traits of character to overcome in order to make an entire surrender to Jesus.

I reflect upon my own life. My mother prayed for me before I was born, from what I would understand. She really wanted a child after her first daughter died a couple years before I was born. My mother taught me to love Scripture at a very early age, and she also invited me to pray with her when I was five to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. But I can surely resonate with what is written here:

     In working for the conversion of our children, we should not look for violent emotion as the essential evidence of conviction of sin. Nor is it necessary to know the exact time when they are converted. We should teach them to bring their sins to Jesus, asking His forgiveness, and believing that He pardons and receives them as He received the children when He was personally on earth. {DA 515.3}

Hallelujah! What great news! Little children have a Savior in Jesus! But also abundantly clear we see the truth of what Jesus shared with Nicodemus about the nature of man in the flesh:

John 3
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.


By nature the heart is evil, and this is true for children as well as adults.

"By nature the heart is evil, and "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies." Rom. 8:7; Matt. 15:19. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure." {DA 172.1}

We need a new heart and a new mind; we need to be converted. But far better is it to experience conversion at a young age than to delay until many years of sin and hardness of heart have been sown to the fallen nature!! But when a child becomes a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he or she is adopted as member of the heavenly family! Praise the Lord! And mothers who are dedicating their loved children to Jesus should not rush to get them baptized at age two to try to "wash away" their sin (as some different faith groups will teach), as this is not necessary at this age. That little two year old can know some lessons of Scripture and simple songs, along with beauty from nature testifying of God's tender love for them. But they are safe in the arms of the praying Christian mother should that child meet an unfortunate death due to illness. It is with such hope and comfort that I even take courage, when I think of the death of my older sister Julie who only lived to be two. I look forward to meeting her (for the first time!) on that resurrection morning!

I just love how Jesus related to children, and as a minister of the gospel, I pray that I may be an effectual co-laborer in this important work of bringing the little ones around me, in the church school where I pastor, and in the families with whom I associate to Jesus! Jesus is our loving Savior! Praise the Lord! 
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2016, 08:25:31 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. What a privilege and responsibility. You are in my prayers. Many little ones do not have this consecrated love in their mothers. If the mother is not, as was you mother consecrated to God, then she cannot give to her child this unselfish love and care. The result is seen in the life of the child as he grows into adulthood. It becomes much more difficult for these to find Christ as they age. But, God's grace is sufficient for all who take time to learn of it.

The grace of Christ in the heart will impart a heaven-born dignity and sense of propriety. It will soften whatever is harsh, and subdue all that is coarse and unkind. It will lead fathers and mothers to treat their children as intelligent beings, as they themselves would like to be treated.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 06:09:25 AM »
I am so thankful for how Jesus treated children, and how when children learn to love their mother, they are learning of Christ's love for them. May we encourage parents to reflect Jesus to their little ones, and may we do all we can to be kind and winsome to little ones, that they may be drawn to Christ and be converted as they come to understand Jesus' pardoning love and His grace that can change the heart!

As the mother teaches her children to obey her because they love her, she is teaching them the first lessons in the Christian life. The mother's love represents to the child the love of Christ, and the little ones who trust and obey their mother are learning to trust and obey the Saviour.   


God is so good, and I am thankful that my mother taught me of Christ's love from an early age. Even those who do not have Christian parents, however, when they learn of Christ's love for them, can experience a great comfort in knowing that His love is deeper than even what a mother could have given.

"As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:13).
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 08:05:02 AM »
Amen!

Many mothers have little understanding of the importance of their role in the family and society. Look at the great men in world history. Think of Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist, and Jesus. We do not know much about their mothers, but if we did, we would find that they loved God and reared their children in a manner consistent with what we read in today's chapter. On the other hand, when we see so many hard-hearted people in the world, do you think in many cases the mother had something to do with their character?

One of the most important truths I have read when it comes to parental responsibility is this statement: "There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil. No other work can equal hers in importance. She has not, like the artist, to paint a form of beauty upon canvas; nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not, like the author, to embody a noble thought in words of power; nor, like the musician, to express a beautiful sentiment in melody. It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine. 
     The mother who appreciates this will regard her opportunities as priceless. Earnestly will she seek, in her own character and by her methods of training, to present before her children the highest ideal. Earnestly, patiently, courageously, she will endeavor to improve her own abilities, that she may use aright the highest powers of the mind in the training of her children. Earnestly will she inquire at every step, "What hath God spoken?" Diligently she will study His word. She will keep her eyes fixed upon Christ, that her own daily experience, in the lowly round of care and duty, may be a true reflection of the one true Life.   Ministry of Healing, pg 378.


I suppose my statement about the importance for parents was a little narrow, for in this truth we read "No other work can equal hers in importance." Some will not understand this to be literal. But, when we look at society, and look at Bible history, we ought to take it just as it reads, for the work of the mother is seen throughout history and in society today.

We often think of the meeting of Stephen and Paul when they reunite. The last Stephen saw of Paul was when "Saul" as he was then known was standing over him as he was stoned. What a meeting this will be, when Stephen finds out the influence of His witness brought countless millions to Christ through the teachings of the Apostle Paul!

But, consider another thought. What shall the mother of Stephen think when she finds out what was the result of her daily toil in rearing her son? What a privilege is the work of the God fearing mother.

      Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not," still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments. 

The is great joy in leading little ones to Christ. To many rearing children is seen as a drudge and often the responsibility is shifted to others. This is not the case when a mother loves Jesus with the whole heart. She then has eyes that can see and ears that can hear. And, in response she turns to Jesus for help in training up her child to be a witness of what Jesus desires we all should be, witnesses of His character.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 08:24:19 AM »
Many mothers and fathers when reading this, will be convicted of their failure to do all they could have done to rear their children. They will see a reflection of their own character defects in their child. There is hope that the child will turn to Jesus. That hope can be strengthened when parents understands their responsibility today.

Who has lived a perfect life? None, no not one.  We all have sinned and come short of what God intended when He made man. When we see our sins, it is God's desire that we repent. Our first work is to see our sins, the next thing is to repent of them. We cannot do this unless we give the whole heart to Christ. Anything short of this leads to a repentance that needs to be repented of.

When we are abiding in Christ and He in us, then we will see our failures, sins, and come to true repentance. Then we can confess our failures to our children as they pertain to them. This is important. When we misrepresent God to them, it leads them in many cases to have a false understanding of the character of God, for we as parents stand in the place of God when they are little. Then, after we have confessed our failures to them, we are then in a position to pray to God as to what else we can do to remove the reproach we have brought upon the truth, and upon Christ. By God's grace we will then do what we have seen is necessary on our part. Then, we may fall on our knees and ask God to do what we cannot do.

This will bring peace when before there was none. God is well able to do what we cannot do. Our prayers at this point will allow God to work in a way He would not have worked if we had not prayed. Here is a precious promise we may then seek after: "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?   But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." Isaiah 49:24.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2017, 03:52:34 AM »
Amen, Richard! True repentance on the part of the parents helps the children see how they, too, can bring their sins to Jesus. I love how this chapter presents the precious opportunity of sowing seeds of the word in the lives of the little ones, that in time will lead them to accept Christ with all the heart and be converted. Children need conversion; they do not come into this world "neutral," but with fallen natures that incline them to selfishness, but if they have converted, consecrated parents, they are blessed to be able to see in some degree God's love through them. May children come to Christ with their whole hearts as they come to understand His love is our prayer, and it is my prayer as I work with children in ministry, especially in connection with a church school as a pastor.

  In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life. 

We may meet children who are in home situations where Jesus is not the center, and who need us to speak words of kindness and truth to them--that in time, they may choose to follow Jesus even if it means going against the grain of their home life. But our prayer is that the families will also give their lives to Jesus, and then there will be in some degree a foretaste of heaven. Praise God for this beautiful revelation of Jesus' loveliness, and how He would have us deal with the little ones who need to be adopted into His family.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2017, 07:04:37 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  I had chosen the very same paragraph to share. What an opportunity for mothers and fathers to help form the characters of their children while they are so easily impressed with truth. If parents do not live the faith of Jesus when the children are young, they are being educated away from the truth. How very sad. If we choose to bring children into the world, then we owe it to them to teach them by both precept and practice the truth. Many have no time for the little ones and they are then trained up by the father of lies. By beholding the little ones become what they see and hear. The character is well formed by age six.

The mother of Moses had done a good work. So much so that her son could be removed from her and yet end up leading the nation of Israel. All may learn from her experience. Jesus is there to help when mothers and fathers give the whole heart to Him. "He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted." He will contend with him who is contending for the lives of the little ones. What a God we serve!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2017, 05:14:07 AM »
What a God we serve!!  Much is revealed in today's reading. God puts into the hearts of mothers and fathers to love their children, and to protect them. But, fallen as is humanity, selfishness gets in the way of rearing children. How very sad that such innocence is left to follow their fallen nature to such a great degree, even in the church.

But, God still will do all He can, and we must do all we can to help the little ones.

     Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not," still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments.
     In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life. 


This reminds me of the truth found earlier in our reading where we are told:

     In childhood and youth the character is most impressible. The power of self-control should then be acquired. By the fireside and at the family board influences are exerted whose results are as enduring as eternity. More than any natural endowment, the habits established in early years decide whether a man will be victorious or vanquished in the battle of life. Youth is the sowing time. It determines the character of the harvest, for this life and for the life to come.


Let us take advantage of this knowledge. And, in our own lives where we did not have great opportunity, and in the lives of our children where we erred, there is still hope in the great power of grace to transform the worst of sinners into saints. There is power in the precious blood of Christ.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2017, 05:30:27 AM »
Amen, Richard! Grace transforms, and our reading today teaches us how to cooperate with that divine grace in the formation of character--we need Jesus and we need to be like Him by having Him upon the throne of our hearts!

If we are going to reflect the loveliness of Jesus by beholding His loveliness, then we also will have His character reflected in our countenance, revealing love not just to the children but to all the children of God of all ages, who need His tender love. Love melts and wins hearts--that is the miracle of divine grace!! Let us surrender our hearts entirely to Jesus today so we can love Him with ALL the heart--and then we will also love our neighbor as ourselves! That means our hearts are made pure and holy at conversion as long as we remain abiding in Jesus, so that He will continue to transform us from "glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18)--from one degree of character excellence to another!

 "Jesus was ever a lover of children. He accepted their childish sympathy and their open, unaffected love. The grateful praise from their pure lips was music in His ears, and refreshed His spirit when oppressed by contact with crafty and hypocritical men. Wherever the Saviour went, the benignity of His countenance, and His gentle, kindly manner won the love and confidence of children."  {The Desire of Ages, page 511, paragraph 1}

May our countenances today reflect the light of heaven, because Jesus lives to save all who will come to Him!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2017, 08:00:50 AM »
"His heart is drawn out, not only to the best-behaved children, but to those who have by inheritance objectionable traits of character. Many parents do not understand how much they are responsible for these traits in their children. They have not the tenderness and wisdom to deal with the erring ones whom they have made what they are. But Jesus looks upon these children with pity. He traces from cause to effect."

Oh, if only every parent would take this chapter serious and follow it's counsel.  What a difference we would see in the church and in every home.

I love this most encouraging quote...."Even the babe in its mother's arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments........"The mothers of today are to receive His words with the same faith. Christ is as verily a personal Saviour today as when He lived a man among men. He is as verily the helper of mothers today as when He gathered the little ones to His arms in Judea."

We live in very challenging times. Both parents work in most cases. Who is teaching their little ones through out the day about Jesus? Many depend on the church and/or school to do the work that they don't have time for. But according to the promise above no situation is hopeless for God to unravel if hearts are surrendered and dedicated to Him.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 03:41:32 AM »
Amen, Dorine! What a privilege to be able to cooperate with Jesus in helping souls come to Jesus--whether they are children of a few months, a few years, youth, or adulthood. All of us belong to Jesus, and yet our great need is coming to sit at His feet as He draws us to spend that precious time with Him, so that by beholding His love we may be changed into His lovely image. When we have truly sat at the feet of Jesus and learned of Him, accepting His forgiveness and receiving His righteousness by faith, our hearts and minds are renewed, we will reveal all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, and gladly follow all of the law of God we know. We can love Him with the whole heart because He has the power to give us a new heart. Let us learn of Jesus today and seek to draw others to Jesus!

Matthew 19:13-14: "Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

   "The Saviour regards with infinite tenderness the souls whom He has purchased with His own blood. They are the claim of His love. He looks upon them with unutterable longing. His heart is drawn out, not only to the best-behaved children, but to those who have by inheritance objectionable traits of character. Many parents do not understand how much they are responsible for these traits in their children. They have not the tenderness and wisdom to deal with the erring ones whom they have made what they are. But Jesus looks upon these children with pity. He traces from cause to effect."  {The Desire of Ages, page 517, paragraph 5}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--56--Blessing the Children
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 10:57:34 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. What an opportunity we all have with the little ones.  I love the truth in this chapter. It is so important for parents to know the privilege and responsibilities they have when they choose to have children.

     In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life.
     It is still true that children are the most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received.


Mothers and fathers who understand this, and give their hearts fully to Christ can be of such an influence they may be as the mothers and fathers of such great men and women as we read of in the Bible! What a thought!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.