I See, I Want, I Take
Sabbath School Lesson 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 2 Sabbath Afternoon
Memory Text: Matthew 13:22
22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
How does Jesus’ explanation of the seed that landed among thorns relate to our lives in today’s world?
Does this truth apply only to the developed world or is it true also in places that don’t have all the amenities that people in the West are used to?
There are those who have nothing and their entire focus can be on acquiring stuff, and then there are those who have a lot of stuff and focus on not losing those things or increasing things. What it basically means is that when it comes to the things of the world, you may never be satisfied with what you have.
This from one of the founders of our church Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 154-157.
Chapter 31—Satan’s Wiles
As the people of God approach the perils of the last days, Satan holds earnest consultation with his angels as to the most successful plan of overthrowing their faith. He sees that the popular churches are already lulled to sleep by his deceptive power. By pleasing sophistry and lying wonders he can continue to hold them under his control. Therefore he directs his angels to lay their snares especially for those who are looking for the second advent of Christ and endeavoring to keep all the commandments of God.
Says the great deceiver: “We must watch those who are calling the attention of the people to the Sabbath of Jehovah; they will lead many to see the claims of the law of God; and the same light which reveals the true Sabbath, reveals also the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and shows that the last work for man’s salvation is now going forward. Hold the minds of the people in darkness till that work is ended, and we shall secure the world and the church also….
“Go, make the possessors of lands and money drunk with the cares of this life. Present the world before them in its most attractive light, that they may lay up their treasure here, and fix their affections upon earthly things. We must do our utmost to prevent those who labor in God’s cause from obtaining means to use against us. Keep the money in our own ranks. The more means they obtain, the more they will injure our kingdom by taking from us our subjects. Make them care more for money than for the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom and the spread of the truths we hate, and we need not fear their influence; for we know that every selfish, covetous person will fall under our power, and will finally be separated from God’s people.”
Satan is the archdeceiver. The results to us of accepting his temptations are worse than any earthly loss that can be realized, yes, worse than death itself. Those who purchase success at the fearful cost of submission to the will and plans of Satan, will find that they have made a hard bargain. Everything in Satan’s trade is secured at a high price. The advantages he presents are a mirage. The high hopes he holds out are secured at the loss of things that are good and holy and pure. Let Satan be always confounded by the word, “It is written.” “Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord: that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” …
The path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord is far above all worldly schemes and practices. Those who walk in it are to show by their works the purity of their principles.
The wealthy are tempted to employ their means in self-indulgence, in the gratification of appetite, in personal adornment, or in the embellishment of their homes. For these objects professed Christians do not hesitate to spend freely, and even extravagantly. But when solicited to give to the Lord’s treasury, to build up His cause, and to carry forward His work in the earth, many demur. The countenance that was all aglow with interest in plans for self-gratification, does not light up with joy when the cause of God appeals to their liberality. Perhaps, feeling that they cannot well do otherwise, they dole out a limited sum, far smaller than they freely spend for needless indulgence. But they manifest no real love for Christ, no earnest interest in the salvation of precious souls. What marvel that the Christian life of this class is at best but a dwarfed and sickly existence! Unless such persons change their course, their light will go out in darkness.
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