Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

May 7, 1884

Importance of Bible Study

The admonition to “search the Scriptures” was never more appropriate than at the present time. This is an age of unrest, and the youth drink deeply of its spirit. Would that they could be made to realize the importance and the peril of the position they occupy! Would that parents and Sabbath-school teachers could be led to see their duty to guide them wisely! Never before have there been so many important interests at stake. Never were such momentous issues before any generation as await the one now coming upon the stage of action. Never were the youth of any age or country so earnestly observed by the angels of God as are the youth of today. All Heaven is watching with intense interest for every indication of the characters they are forming,—whether, when brought to the test, they will stand firmly for God and the right, or be swayed by worldly influences.

There are many who profess Christ, but are unacquainted with him. They do not serve Jesus, do not love his requirements. Satan is well pleased with such, for he can use them to decoy others from the right path. But those who are truly converted, whose hearts are fully set to do right and to press against the strong current of self-indulgence and pleasure-seeking, are objects of his bitter hatred, and he will bring to bear against them all the opposing influences within his reach.

God has a great work to be done in a short time. He has committed to the young talents of intellect, time, and means, and he holds them responsible for the use they make of these good gifts. He calls upon them to come to the front, to resist the corrupting, bewitching influences of this fast age, and to become qualified to labor in his cause. They cannot become fitted for usefulness without putting heart and energy into the work of preparation. Christian principle must be developed by being cherished and brought into active exercise. Self-control must be gained by earnest effort aided by the grace of God. The influence of the home and the Sabbath-school should combine to aid in this work.

When the young choose the service of Christ, and prove that through divine aid they have the moral principle to govern self, they are a power for good, and an influence goes out from them that leads others to glorify God. Satan knows this, and he seeks to gain control of the talents of the young, that he may use them in his service. His bewitching snares are ever around them. He excites the natural tendency to selfishness, self-indulgence, and impatience of restraint. He allures them to ruin by absorbing their time and taking their attention, so that there is neither time nor inclination for prayer and the study of the Scriptures. He tries to make them believe that the requirements of Christ restrict their liberty and hinder their enjoyment. Is it not well to become wise as to his devices?

The service of Christ is not so hard as Satan would make it appear. It is true that liberty to sin is restricted, and we must learn to suffer reproach for Christ's sake. But the requirements of God are made in wisdom and goodness. In obeying them, the mind enlarges, the character improves, and the soul finds a peace and rest that the world can neither give nor take away. When the heart is fully surrendered to Jesus, his ways will be found to be ways of pleasantness and peace.

It is a divine law that blessings come at some cost to the receiver. Those who would become wise in the sciences must study; and those who would become wise in regard to Bible truth, that they may impart that knowledge to others, must be diligent students of God's holy word. There is no other way; they must search the Scriptures diligently, interestedly, prayerfully. Precious words of promise and encouragement, of warning, reproof, and instruction, are there found. They will learn of Christ's love, the value of his blood, and the wonderful privileges afforded by his grace.

Oh that parents and Sabbath-school workers would realize their responsibility to train the dear youth to love and understand the Bible! The knowledge of God's revealed will, in which men need make no mistake, and the faithful performance of the duties therein enjoined, would tax their mental powers to the fullest extent, and develop the moral power necessary to meet the demands of the time with energy and fidelity; and after all their research, there is beyond an infinity of wisdom, love, and power.

The Bible should ever be the Christian's text-book; of all books it should be made the most attractive to the young. If they drink deep of its spirit, they will be prepared to withstand the wiles of Satan, and to resist the temptations of this infidel age. By its simple beauty of language, its elevated sentiment, its unerring truthfulness, its tenderness and pathos, the word of God is well calculated to impress the mind and impart rich lessons; and if teachers are wise in giving instruction, they can make its sacred truths of continual interest.

Mrs. E. G. White

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