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Counsels on Sabbath School Work

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    The Teacher to Be a Learner

    “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” Those who would become the educators of the youth and children must learn much, very much, both in precept and experience, in order that they may be successful laborers for God. They must grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, attaining unto the measure of the stature of Christ. Growth in grace is a testimony to the fact that you are abiding in Christ as the branch is abiding in the vine. If you abide in Him, you will have power to discern spiritual truth, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned.CSW 30.1

    “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” God calls upon the young men and young women to make the most of their entrusted ability. He would have you cultivate habits of industry, habits of study, that you may improve the talents He has given you. God will accept your service, and the improvement of your talents, but He cannot look with approval upon half-hearted, halfway work. Every branch of God's work calls for the exercise of the highest ability; it demands that you shall bring into requisition every available help, that you shall direct your noblest impulses to the propagation of the truth. The exalted, sacred character of the work requires the enlistment of the highest intellectual and spiritual powers, that it may be properly represented before those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.CSW 30.2

    If you are called to be a teacher in any branch of the work of God, you are called also to be a learner in the school of Christ. If you take upon you the sacred responsibility of teaching others, you take upon you the duty of going to the bottom of every subject you seek to teach. If you present a subject from the word of God to your pupils in the Sabbath school, you should make the reasons for your faith so plain that your scholars shall be convinced of its truth. You should diligently search and compare the evidences of the word of God on messages that He sends to the church, that you may know what is truth, and be able to direct those who look to you into the way of righteousness.CSW 31.1

    To Listen With Candor

    When asked to hear the reasons of a doctrine that you do not understand, do not condemn the message until you have given it a thorough investigation, and know from the word of God that it is not tenable. If I had an opportunity, I would speak to the students of every Sabbath school in the land, lifting up my voice in earnest appeal that they go to the word of God, seeking for truth and light. God has precious light to come to His people at this very time, and you should strive earnestly in your investigations to aim at nothing less than a thorough knowledge of every point of truth, that you may not be found in the day of God among those who have not lived by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.CSW 31.2

    The momentous issues at stake through neglect of the word of God should be carefully considered. The study of the Bible is worthy of the best mental effort, the most sanctified ability. When new light is presented to the church, it is perilous to shut yourselves away from it. Refusing to hear because you are prejudiced against the message to the messenger will not make your case excusable before God. To condemn that which you have not heard and do not understand will not exalt your wisdom in the eyes of those who are candid in their investigations of truth. And to speak with contempt of those whom God has sent with a message of truth, is folly and madness. If our youth are seeking to educate themselves to be workers in His cause, they should learn the way of the Lord, and live by every word that proceedeth out of His mouth. They are not to make up their minds that the whole truth has been unfolded, and that the Infinite One has no more light for His people. If they entrench themselves in the belief that the whole truth has been revealed, they will be in danger of discarding precious jewels of truth that shall be discovered as men turn their attention to the searching of the rich mine of God's word.CSW 32.1

    Individually Investigate

    Those who have entered upon the work of teaching, or who have been called to any position of responsibility, should not be satisfied to take the product of the researches of other minds, but they should investigate truth for themselves. If they do not form the habit of investigating themes of truth for themselves, they will become superficial in their life and acquirements. The opinions of your associates may be of value to you, but you should not rely upon them and have no definite ideas of your own. You should examine the truths you have been led to believe, until you know that they are without a flaw. You lose much when you do not bring every point of faith you hold to the law and to the testimony, for you do not see or appreciate the truth as it is. Oh, that all our youth might appreciate the privilege that God has given! It is His will that you should go to the source of all light, and receive the enlightenment of His Spirit (for this will be given to every humble seeker for truth), and then you will know that the Spirit and the Word agree, and know that you know what is truth. What assurance this knowledge gives! You can then speak with power, proclaiming what you have learned as truth, knowing that you have not followed cunningly devised fables.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 58-61.CSW 33.1

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