The Youth’s Instructor


August 23, 1894

Privileges of Childhood


Of Jesus in his childhood it is stated that “the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.” As he increased in stature, the divine record further states that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” This record of the childhood and youth of Jesus is to be an encouragement to all children and youth. Jesus is the perfect pattern, and it is the duty and privilege of every child and youth to copy the pattern. Let children bear in mind that the child Jesus had taken upon himself human nature, and was in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was tempted of Satan as all children are tempted. He was able to resist the temptations of Satan through his dependence upon the divine power of his heavenly Father, as he was subject to his will, and obedient to all his commands. He kept his father's statutes, precepts, and laws. He was continually seeking counsel of God, and was obedient to his will. YI August 23, 1894, par. 1

It is the duty and privilege of every child to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Those who are instructed by parents and teachers, who love and fear God, are under obligation to consider the life and example given them by Jesus Christ. It will please the Lord Jesus to have the children ask him for every spiritual grace, to bring all their perplexities and trials to the Saviour; for he knows how to help the children and youth, because he was a child himself, and was once subject to all the trials, disappointments, and perplexities to which children and youth are subject. God's promise is given as much to children and youth as to those of more mature age. Whenever God has given a promise, let the children and youth turn it into a petition, and beg the Lord to do those things for them in their experience, that he did for Jesus, his only begotten Son, when in human necessity he looked to God, asking for the things which he needed. YI August 23, 1894, par. 2

Every blessing the Father has provided for those of more mature experience, has been provided for children and youth through Jesus Christ. When the Lord sees the youth studying the life and lessons of Christ, he gives his angels charge over them, to keep them in all their ways, as he gave his angels charge over Jesus, his beloved Son. The angels attended Jesus when he lived upon earth under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, doing his heavenly Father's will, that he might give a correct sample of character, that might be an example to children and youth. He desired that, in every action of their lives, they should do those things of which God could approve. He knew that every good work, every deed of kindness, every act of obedience to father and mother, would be registered in the books of heaven. Those who honor their parents would reap a reward in the fulfilment of the promise that they should live long upon the land which the Lord their God giveth them. Children are to continue in well-doing, praying that through the merits of Jesus, the Lord will give them his grace, his mind, and his beauty of character. God has withheld no blessing that is necessary for shaping the character of children and youth after the divine pattern given them in the youth of Jesus. They are to ask for the graces of his character, in simple, trusting faith, and in the name of Jesus, just as a son asks a favor of his earthly parent. YI August 23, 1894, par. 3

Dear children and youth, you need a new heart. Ask God for this. He says, “A new heart also will I give you.” When you have asked according to his will, doubt not that you will receive; for whatever God has promised, he will fulfil. If you come with true contrition of soul, you need not feel that you are at all presumptuous in asking for what God has promised. Presumption is asking for things to gratify selfish inclination; for human enjoyment in earthly things. But when you ask for the spiritual blessings you so much need in order that you may perfect a character after Christ's likeness, the Lord assures you that you are asking according to a promise that will be verified. You cannot show greater honor to Jesus Christ and your heavenly Father than to believe the word of God. The Prince of life says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Believe that God means just what he says, and honor him by taking him at his word. YI August 23, 1894, par. 4

Mrs. E. G. White