The Review and Herald

1234/1902

December 23, 1902

“Think on These Things”

EGW

Another year has almost passed into eternity. A few more days, and we shall enter a new year. My brethren and sisters, employ wisely the remaining hours of the old year. If you have in any wise neglected your duty, repent before God, and return to the path from which you have wandered. Remember how brief the period of life allotted you. You know not how soon your probation may close. Say not presumptuously, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.” God may have different plans for you. Life is but a vapor, “that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth.” You know not how soon your hand may lose its cunning, your step its firmness. There is peril in a moment's delay. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” RH December 23, 1902, par. 1

What is your stewardship? Have you during the past year robbed God in tithes and offerings? Look at your well-filled barns, at your cellars stored with the good things the Lord has given you, and ask yourselves whether you have returned to the Giver that which belongs to him. If you have robbed the Lord, make restitution. As far as possible, make the past right, and then ask the Saviour to pardon you. Will you not return to the Lord his own, before this year, with its burden of record, has passed into eternity? RH December 23, 1902, par. 2

We ask your prayers for the advancement of the work. We need them. But we ask that prayer and giving may be united. Let your prayers and your alms rise as a memorial before God. Remember that faith without works is dead. We are to pray, and we are to give all that we can, both of our labor and of our means, for the fulfillment of our prayers. RH December 23, 1902, par. 3

From age to age Jesus has been delivering his goods to men and women. Soon will come the day when he will call each to account for the use made of these goods. It is God who gives men power to get wealth. He waters the earth with the dews of heaven and with the showers of refreshing rain. He gives the sunlight, which warms the earth, awakening to life the things of nature, and causing them to flourish and bear fruit. And he asks for a return of his own. RH December 23, 1902, par. 4

Hoarded wealth is not merely useless; it is a curse. In this life it is a snare to the soul, drawing the affections away from the heavenly treasure. In the great day of God its witness to unused talents and neglected opportunities will condemn it possessor. RH December 23, 1902, par. 5

There are many who in their hearts charge God with being a hard master because he claims their possessions and their service. But we can bring to God nothing that is not already his. “All things come of thee,” said King David, “and of thine own have we given thee.” All things are God's, not only by creation, but by redemption. All the blessings of this life and of the life to come are delivered to us stamped with the cross of Calvary. RH December 23, 1902, par. 6

The Home a Training School

Fathers and mothers, how stands your record? Have you been faithful to your trust? As you have seen your children inclined to follow a course that you knew would result in impurity of thought and word and act, have you, first asking God for help, tried to show them their danger? Have you pointed out to them the peril of following a path of their own choosing? Mothers, have you neglected your God-given work,—the greatest work ever committed to mortals? Have you refused to bear your God-given responsibilities? In the time of trouble just before us, when the judgments of God fall upon the impure and unholy, will your children curse you because of your indulgence? RH December 23, 1902, par. 7

Your home is a little world of itself. In it, order, prompt obedience, submission, should prevail. It is a duty that parents owe their children to make wise rules for the guidance of the household, and then to see that these rules are obeyed. RH December 23, 1902, par. 8

The home is a training school. The mother is the teacher. She is to choose for her children. She is to mold and fashion their characters. She is to teach them to bring God into their lives. She should be so closely connected with God that through her he can work out his will. RH December 23, 1902, par. 9

Mothers, have you neglected your work? Then I beseech you to take it up now in the fear of God. Be converted. Before the year closes, confess your neglect to your wayward children, and ask them to help you to begin the new year aright, and during its hours, to live for God. RH December 23, 1902, par. 10

Parents, you are the ones who must decide whether your children shall choose the service of God or the service of mammon, eternal life or eternal death. Watch them carefully and tenderly. Give them wise instructions, line upon line, precept upon precept. Study their dispositions, that you may know what traits of character to repress and what traits to encourage. Teach them to guard constantly against selfishness, fraud, cruelty, dishonesty, and to cherish all that goes to make human beings Christlike. Remember that what your children learn in the home, they will carry with them when they go out into the world, and that it will affect all their future experience. RH December 23, 1902, par. 11

If you have neglected your work, repent before it is too late, and strive to atone for your neglect. Think of the time you have lost, and be doubly earnest in your efforts to undo the wrong you have done. The result of your neglect you may see in the wayward course of your children, and in their lack of power to resist the corrupting influence of the age. And very plainly you will see it when they go forth to fight the battle of life for themselves. I entreat you to arouse before it is too late, and take up your work, lest you be found unfaithful. To the parent who neglects his life-work, God cannot say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” RH December 23, 1902, par. 12

Prayer and the Home

In many homes, prayer is neglected. Parents feel that they have no time for morning and evening worship. They cannot spare a few moments to be spent in thanksgiving to God for his abundant mercies,—for the blessed sunshine and the showers of rain, and for the guardianship of holy angels. They have no time to offer prayer for divine help and guidance, and for the abiding presence of Jesus in the household. They go forth to labor as the horse or the ox goes, without one thought of God or heaven. They have souls so precious that rather than permit them to be lost, the Son of God gave his life to ransom them; but they have little more appreciation of his goodness than have beasts that perish. RH December 23, 1902, par. 13

Like the patriarchs of old, those who profess to love God should erect an altar to him wherever they pitch their tent. If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Fathers and mothers should lift up their hearts in humble supplication for themselves and for their children. Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to abide. RH December 23, 1902, par. 14

From every Christian home a holy light should shine forth. Love should be revealed in every act. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. There are homes where this principle is carried out,—homes where God is worshiped, and truest love reigns. From these homes, morning and evening prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and his mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like morning dew. RH December 23, 1902, par. 15

A well-ordered Christian household is a powerful argument in favor of the reality of the Christian religion,—an argument that the infidel cannot gainsay. All can see that an influence is at work in the family that affects the children, and that God is with them. If the homes of professed Christians had a right religious mold, they would exert a mighty influence for good. They would indeed be “the light of the world.” The God of heaven speaks to every faithful parent in the words addressed to Abraham: “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” RH December 23, 1902, par. 16