Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--2nd Qrtr 2019--What Have They Seen in Your House  (Read 563 times)

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Wally

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  • Romans 8:35, 38, 39
Lesson 12 June 15-21





What Have They Seen in Your House?







Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon






So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: Isaiah 38; 39; 1 Cor. 7:12-15; 1 Pet. 3:1, 2; Heb. 6:12; 13:7; 3 John 11; Isa. 58:6, 7, 10, 12.

Memory Verse: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Perhaps we have reached a stage when, thanks be to the Lord, our lives are (at least for now) going well: family is fine, work is fine, health and finances are, too. Or maybe not? Maybe your home, for now, is in pain, turmoil? Either way, when someone comes to visit your home, like emissaries from Babylon who visited King Hezekiah, what answer could be given to the question that the prophet Isaiah later asked the king: “What have they seen in thine house?” Isa. 39:4.

What have people seen in your house? What have heavenly angels seen? What kind of spirit permeates our residences? Can one “smell” the scent of prayer? Is there kindness, generosity, love, or tension, anger, resentfulness, bitterness, and discord? Will someone who’s there walk away thinking Jesus is in this home?

These are important questions for all of us to ask ourselves regarding the kind of home that we have created. This week we will look at some of the issues that can make for a wonderful home life, despite the inevitable tensions and struggles that homes today face.

No matter the issues, it all comes down to one thing. Is Jesus in  the home? Are those in the home abiding in Christ and He in them through the Holy Spirit? Are the fruits of the Spirit seen in the occupants of the home? Or do we see the works of the flesh popping up? Until we understand we need Jesus all the time in order to resist sin, we will not be able to witness the character of Christ to visitors to our homes.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 22.
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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Sunday         June 16

Learning From a King’s Mistake

Read the account of Hezekiah’s healing and the visit of the Babylonian ambassadors. 2 Chron. 32:25, 31; Isaiah 38; 39.

Scripture points out that the messengers were interested in the miraculous recovery of King Hezekiah. However, Hezekiah seems to have been silent about his healing experience. He didn’t emphasize the things that would have opened the hearts of these inquiring ambassadors to the knowledge of the true God. The contrast between his gratitude for being healed in chapter 38 and his silence about it in chapter 39 is striking.

“God left him to test him”.This state visit was a most significant occasion; yet, there is no record of Hezekiah seeking special guidance about it in prayer from prophets or from priests. Nor did God intervene. Alone, out of the public eye, with no consultation with spiritual advisers, Hezekiah apparently let the work of God in his life and in the life of his nation recede from his mind. The intent of the historian in 2 Chronicles 32:31 may have been to show how easily God’s blessing can be taken for granted and how prone the recipients of His mercy are to becoming self-sufficient.

Below are some lessons about faithfulness in home life that can be gleaned from the experience of Hezekiah. What others can you think of?

Every visit to the homes of Christians is an opportunity for people to meet followers of Christ. Few visitors are likely to open conversation about spiritual things. Christians must find ways that are sensitive and appropriate to the occasion to share the good news.

Christians are not called to show off their material prosperity or accomplishments, though they may recognize these as blessings from God. They are called to “show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9,) or, to use Hezekiah’s experience as a symbol, to declare that they were dying, but Christ has healed them; they were dead in sin, and Christ resurrected them and seated them in heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-6).

God blessed me before I was converted with a very nice ski boat, an airplane, an expensive house with fine furniture and a tennis court. Shall I have a Bible study tomorrow night and leave my 911 out of the garage? Why not? Some think it fine to do so. What is wrong with the picture? When I was converted I sold my boat, plane, and fine home. The Porsche belonged to my atheist brother. I am trying to sell it. I leave my Civic in the driveway, I don't have a garage. Why the different lifestyle? Does God care? I think so or I would have kept my trophies along with my toys. Other people would wonder why they ought to give sacrificially to the church when others who are well off continue to live a life of luxury. Let us not bring reproach upon Christ, His Church, or His Word. Let us learn from the King's mistake.


In what ways are you able to use your home to witness to others? How could you share your faith in Christ more forthrightly with visitors to your home?
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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Monday          June 17

Family First

The most natural first recipients of our gospelsharing endeavors are the people in our households. There is no more important mission field than this.

What conclusions can be drawn from John 1:40-42 about sharing faith at home? See also Deut. 6:6, 7; Ruth 1:14-18.

An enthusiastic report. Andrew went beyond mere reporting; he arranged for his brother, Simon, to meet Jesus. An enthusiastic report about Jesus and an introduction to Him as a person—what a simple formula for sharing the gospel with relatives in our homes! After the introduction Andrew stepped back. From then on, Jesus and Peter had a relationship of their own.

Helping children to a place of faith. Children in a home can often be overlooked as fitting recipients of gospel-sharing efforts. Parents mistakenly assume children will simply absorb family spirituality. This must not be taken for granted. While children and young people learn from the modeling they observe, it is also true that these younger members of the Lord’s family need individual attention and opportunity to be personally introduced to Him. Deuteronomy 6 is insistent on this point: Attention must be given to the most effective kind of religious education. Regular spiritual habits of personal and family worship are to be encouraged in the home. Time and earnest efforts must be put forth on behalf of children and youth.

The world does not agree with God. Mothers can indeed forget their sucking child and go about other duties not given them by God. "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Isaiah 49:15. How sad! Some may have to, others do so by choice. Today, men and women often will act independently of God and His Word. How does God look at the work of a mother? There is no job more important no matter how many argue otherwise.

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. Adventist Home, pg  237.


How many mothers in the world think this? How many mothers in the church reject this light and allow their children to develop character which do not reflect the character of our Lord? Thus, is the circle begun. Like mother, like daughter. The example set by the parents goes a very long way to set the character of the child.


What can we learn from the evangelistic efforts of Naomi? Ruth 1:8-22.

Ruth saw Naomi at the lowest of moments: when she tried to push her daughter-in-law away and when, angry and depressed, she lashed out against God as she recounted her losses (Ruth 1:15, 20, 21). No more eloquent testimony than Ruth’s can be given to show that youth can meet and make a commitment to a perfect God, even when introduced to Him by an imperfect parent.

How does the notion of home as the most important mission field affect your attitude toward the people who live with you? Work together as a family to prepare a list of specific efforts your family can make to lead unsaved relatives to Christ.

I have never thought that putting our family first included relatives outside of the home. Yes, we want to see our extended family saved, and yes we may have opportunity to help them. But, Our first mission is to our spouse, children, and parents.They come before ministry to the world and church. Pastors especially need to make a note of this. They get so busy taking care of others, some forget their own family.
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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Tuesday        June 18

Peace That Wins

What counsel does the New Testament have for marriages divide by religion? 1 Cor. 7:12-15; 1 Pet. 3:1, 2.

The blessing of being a Christian partner. In 1 Corinthians Paul responds to converts’ concerns that staying married to an unbelieving spouse might be offensive to God or bring defilement upon themselves and their children. Not so, says Paul. The sacred state of marriage and its intimacies are to continue after a partner’s conversion. The presence of one Christian partner “sanctifies” the other partner and the couple’s children. The word “sanctifies” should be understood in the sense that unbelieving spouses come into contact with the blessings of grace through living with their Christian partners.

Heartrending as it is, the unbelieving partner may decide to abandon the marriage. Though consequences will be serious, the merciful word of our God—who always upholds human freedom of choice—is “let him do so”. The believer “is not bound in such circumstances” (1 Cor. 7:15, NIV).

Called to live in peace. The clear preference of the Word of God is that despite the challenges of a spiritually divided home, a way might be found for the peace of Christ to reign there. The hope is to keep the marriage intact, to give evidence of the triumph of the gospel in the midst of difficulty, and to promote the comfort of the partner with whom the believer is one flesh, though he or she be unbelieving.

Amazing! That a Christian is granted grace to live with an "unbeliever." Not only given grace, but told to not leave the unbelieving spouse. Why then is the divorce rate the same in the church as in the world? Because many do not follow the Bible. They are given grace to do so, but do not allow that grace to enter the heart and sanctify the one who professes to love God supremely, but does not. They divorce the unbeliever even though there has been no adultery.


What might be the limitations of a spouse’s responsibility toward a nonbelieving partner?

Lovingkindness, unwavering fidelity, humble service, and winsome witness on the part of the believer create the greatest likelihood of winning the non-Christian spouse. Submission in a Christian marriage arises out of reverence for Christ (compare Eph. 5:21). When a spouse relates with Christian submission to an unbelieving partner, the first allegiance is always to Christ. Faithfulness to the claims of God on one’s life does not require a spouse to suffer abuse at the hands of a violent partner.

Of course not. In most countries there are laws against violence. When a spouse is injured physically, then it ought to be reported to the authorities if the parties cannot work it out.


Is someone in your church struggling with an unbelieving spouse? If so, in what practical ways could you possibly help?

The answer is always the same. How can one be at peace when the other half is not abiding in Christ? We can have peace knowing that God is in control and is using the Christian to reveal Christ to the unbeliever. We need Jesus in order to not struggle. When fully surrendered we know that all things work for our good and God's glory as we abide in Him.

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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Wednesday          June 19

Family Life Is for Sharing

In the following verses, trace the New Testament uses of the words “follow” (KJV) or “imitate” (NIV). What do they tell us about the process of becoming and growing as a Christian? What do you think they suggest about the relationship between modeling and witnessing? 1 Cor. 4:16, Eph. 5:1, 1 Thess. 1:6, Heb. 6:12, 13:7, 3 John 11.

The New Testament emphasis on imitation acknowledges the important role of modeling in the learning process. People tend to become like whom or what they watch. This principle applies to relationships generally and especially in the home, where imitation is common. There children imitate their parents and siblings; married partners often imitate one another. This concept provides an important clue to how couples and families can bear Christian witness to other couples and families.

The power of social influence. We witness from our homes when we provide opportunities for others to observe us and to share in our home experience in some way. Many simply have no good example of marriage or family relationships to follow. In our homes they may see how the spirit of Jesus makes a difference. “Social influence”, wrote Ellen White, “is a wonderful power. We can use it if we will as a means of helping those about us”. – The Ministry of Healing, p. 354.

As married couples invite other couples for meals, fellowship, or Bible study, or when they attend a marital growth program together, the visitors see a model. The display of mutuality, affirmation, communication, conflict resolution, and accommodation of differences testifies of family life in Christ.

In this context, however, of what must we always be careful? Jer. 17:9, John 2:25, Rom. 3:23.

Follow believers who follow Christ. All human examples are flawed; however, the witness of the Christian home is not about modeling absolute perfection.

Try as they could, Daniel's enemies could not find flaws  in his character. Why not? What is "absolute perfection?"  If we follow Christ, can we do without stumbling? Or is that impossible? Can the murderer be perfect on not killing again? Can the homosexual remain pure? Can we stop being angry when we do not have a just cause? Or is it impossible for Christ to keep us from sinning? What is "absolute perfection?"

If neighbors see a Christian family not following what they preach, is this going to create a question or problem for the neighbor? Will they think that Christians are hypocrites?  Can you know what the author meant when he said "absolute perfection?"  It kind of leaves us up in the air not really knowing what he meant.



The New Testament notion of imitation is a call for individuals to follow believers who follow Christ. The idea is that individuals will grasp Christian faith as they see it demonstrated in the lives of others who are as human and fallible as they are.

In other words, the Christian's character is like the unbeliever's character?


What could you do to make your home a better model for Christian witnessing?

It seems that the more we are like Jesus the greater our influence. What kind of influence was Jesus? He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. Did that help His witness? He was not fallible or was He? He never sinned, but He could have. Can we remove reproach that we bring upon Christ, His Word, and His church when we sin? Or is that a good thing since it shows we after all, human and fallible. Yes we can remove some of the reproach. How can we do so?
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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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Thursday          June 20

Centers of Contagious Friendliness

Compare biblical references on hospitality with actual incidents in the homes of several Bible families listed below. Isa. 58:6, 7, 10-12; Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9. Note the attributes of hospitality that are demonstrated.

Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 18:1-8)

Rebekah and her family (Gen. 24:15-20; 31-33)

Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9)

Hospitality meets another person’s basic needs for rest, food, and fellowship. It is a tangible expression of self-giving love. Jesus attached theological significance to hospitality when He taught that feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty were acts of service done to Him (Matt. 25:34-40). Using one’s home for ministry may range from simply inviting neighbors to a meal to the radical hospitality of lending a room to an abuse victim. It may involve simple friendliness, an opportunity to offer prayer with someone, or the conducting of Bible studies. True hospitality springs from the hearts of those who have been touched by God’s love and want to express their love in words and actions.

Families sometimes complain that they lack the facilities, the time, and/or the energy to offer hospitality. Others feel awkward, unskilled, and unsure about reaching beyond what is familiar in order to associate with unbelievers. Some wish to avoid the complications to their lives that may arise from becoming involved with others. Many contemporary families confuse hospitality and entertaining.

The reality is that when we love Jesus with the whole heart, we will find ways to minister to others. It may not be the way that the author or others think we ought to, but that is not important. God will open a door for all to labor for others. A single mother who works hard during the day and they takes care of her children needs to find time for study and prayer as well as for her children. It may be that she has very little time to interact with others. Her complaints about not being able to do what others expect of her, are not "complaints" at all. She needs to be encouraged to do the work God's has entrusted to her, not what we think she ought to do.


In what ways does your home life reflect your own spiritual condition?

That is a good question. Does my home life begin with my personal devotions, then with family worship? If not, then we can understand why my spiritual condition is what it is. Let us encourage each other to look upon Him who we want to copy. For as the lesson pointed out, it is by beholding we  become changed in character. It is a good time to reveal that the thought did not come from science, or personal experience, but from the word of God.  "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18. Let me simplify the verse. We all beholding the glory (character) of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (character) by the Spirit of God. It is an intellectual as well as a spiritual truth that by beholding we become changed. The mind is like plastic, it changes. It gradually adapts itself to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so has the Son of God been lifted up that we might "look and live."

What do others see in our homes? Do they see the things of this world? Or, do we live a sacrificial life? Do we invest in the things of this world, or do we spend time in the garden rather than on the golf course? These are some things to think about if you are going to invite people into your home. What kind of food  do you eat? What kind of clothes do you wear? How do you furnish your home?  Do you spend money on expensive art?  What do these things say about where your mind is? Is it on Jesus and ministry, or is self alive and well taken care of? We are not judging, but only saying that what others see in our homes is going to have an influence on what they think, right or wrong.

If you happen to have a collection of something that is very valuable, take care when showing it to others, you never know, they may come back when you are not at home.   

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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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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Friday         June 21

Further Thought: Ellen G. White, “A Powerful Christian Witness”, pp. 35-39; “Attitude Toward an Unbelieving Companion”, pp. 348-352, in The Adventist Home; “Ministry of the Home”, pp. 349-355, in The Ministry of Healing; “The Ambassadors From Babylon”, pp. 340-348, in Prophets and Kings.

The power of the home in evangelism. “Far more powerful than any sermon that can be preached is the influence of a true home upon human hearts and lives. … “Our sphere of influence may seem narrow, our ability small, our opportunities few, our acquirements limited; yet wonderful possibilities are ours through a faithful use of the opportunities of our own homes”. – Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, pp. 352, 355.

Discussion Questions:

    Ask anyone in class if it were the influence of someone’s home that helped them make a decision for Christ. Discuss just what it was that made such an impression. What can the class learn from that experience?

    In what practical ways can you as a class minister to a family with an unbelieving spouse?

    As a class, talk about some of the pressures in the home that work against faith. Write up a list of some of these things; then across from them, write down possible solutions.

    The private lives of Christians are a means of witness to children, unbelieving spouses, other relatives, and visitors. While faith sharing at home may not always be as complete as one would like or result in the conversion of relatives and visitors, imperfect family members seek to point the way to a perfect Savior. Through generous hospitality expressed in the Savior’s name, they bring within the realm of grace all whose lives they touch. Think about the influence of your home on those who come to visit. What could you do to make it a better witness of faith for all who step within your doors?

We are either a savor of life unto life, or death unto death. If we will abide in Christ, then we will manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit. What greater witness is there? It would have greater influence if it were witnessed in the middle of a storm.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.