Living in the Here and Now: Solid Ground
February 16, 2019
While traveling around the world, John and his wife, Anne, were camping in a country far from home when John was bitten by a snake.
Not knowing what kind of snake it was or what the bite’s effects might be, John and Anne jumped into their jeep and headed for the nearest town, where a doctor examined John’s red, swollen, angry-looking snakebite wound.
“You were bitten by the most dangerous snake in this part of the country,” the doctor said, “and the bite is fatal. Without treatment, you have less than an hour to live.”
“Is there any treatment?” Anne asked, frantic to save her husband’s life.
“Yes, you’re very fortunate that I have a small amount of the antidote here in my clinic,” the doctor said, filling the syringe.
“Wait a second,” John said. “You’re saying this antidote of yours is the only cure for the snakebite venom?”
“The only known cure, sir,” the doctor said. “Hurry up and give him the needle!” Anne insisted. “No, I want to think about this,” John said. “I think it’s pretty narrow-minded of you to insist this is the only treatment available. What if I want to try something different? I don’t like needles. I like herbal remedies. Maybe there’s an herb I can take. Or I’d like to try doing some exercises to see if those would make it better.”
“We must hurry, sir,” the doctor said. “Already the poison is spreading through your bloodstream. I repeat, this antidote is the only cure.”
“John, just let him give you the needle,” Anne begged. “I’m really not sure about this,” John said. “There’s always more than one way to approach a situation. I think we need to explore other options rather than just taking his word for it that there’s only one cure.”
In real life, this situation would be unthinkable. In a life-ordeath situation, most people would accept the doctor’s word that there’s only one available treatment. But many people reject the message that there’s only one way to eternal salvation— through Jesus—and only one guide to living life: the Bible. How are you relying on God’s Word when the enemy attacks your soul?
Memory Text: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
Our Beliefs, no. 1, The Holy Scriptures: “In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the definitive revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 18-21.
Read Hebrews 4:12.
God knows our hearts. He knows when someone is searching for truth, even if they may think they believe differently. His Word will cut through all our misunderstandings and will put us on the right path to salvation through Jesus.
Your friend Tiffany is one of the nicest people you know. She’s always cheerful and pleasant, she’s kind to everyone, she likes to get involved in activities that will make the world a better place, such as raising money for the homeless or starting a recycling program. You ask if she’d like to come to church with you, but she says, “I believe Jesus was a good man, but I don’t think He was God. I think God is in all of us; God is whatever you want Him to be. And I don’t think I’m a sinner, so why do I need to be saved?”
“The children of God are those who are partakers of His nature. It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity. Even sinners whose hearts are not utterly closed to God’s Spirit, will respond to kindness” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 75).
Why is it important that you help Tiffany understand that she needs Jesus? How do you respond to her beliefs? How can you share your beliefs in a way that would be meaningful to her?
Read Psalm 119:105; Luke 24:44-47; John 5:39.
The Bible leads us to a knowledge of Jesus, and it is only through Jesus that we can be saved. After His death Jesus used the Scriptures to help His followers understand the meaning of His life and death. He shows us through Scriptures that salvation comes only through Him (see John 3:16).
How can we get a deep understanding of God’s Word?
The Bible is the Word of God and can be trusted as the authentic record that reveals God’s character, His law, and His will for our lives. How do you make time each day to prayerfully read, study, and memorize the Scriptures?
Consult the Bible Study Guide for the activity.
Read Proverbs 3:5, 6.
“None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict” (Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 593, 594).
As Christian young people we need to stand firm on the Bible as our authority. The Word of God doesn’t change. Basing your beliefs and your actions on God’s Word will give you solid ground to stand firm in a world with shifting values.
How do you use the Holy Scriptures to make decisions about what is right and wrong?
Use the reference list below to match and write the correct reference next to its corresponding verse. All Bible passages are taken from the New King James Version.
1. “. . . He is a shield . . .”
2. “. . . light to my path.”
3. “. . . in all your ways acknowledge Him . . .”
4. “. . . when you receive the word of God . . .”
5. “. . . Your word is truth.”
6. “. . . taking heed according to your word . . .”
7. “. . . for instruction in righteousness . . .”
8. “. . . through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures . . .”
9. “. . . the word of God is living and powerful . . .”
Hebrews 4:12 John 17:17 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 Psalm 119:9, 10 Romans 15:4 Proverbs 30:5, 6 Psalm 119:105 Proverbs 3:5, 6 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Read Isaiah 8:20.
Review the memory text.
You face choices every day. Whom do you trust to give you guidance with those choices? The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and in it you can find guidance, comfort, encouragement, moral compass, and the faith of Jesus that you need for salvation. Ask God to answer your questions through the Holy Scriptures. Wait for Him to answer, and listen to His voice as you study His Word.
“The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness.” “So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested” (Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 593).
God’s message of love and the Bible is for everyone. We live in a world today that offers more diversity in terms of people’s beliefs and cultures than ever before. Even though we need to respect others and remember that they have the same right to their beliefs as we do to ours, we can share Jesus with them by actions, and when asked, we can open to them the Words of Life as Jesus has revealed to us. For our witness to be effective, we need to spend time with Jesus daily and to immerse ourselves in the prayerful study of the Holy Scriptures.
Read Psalm 119:105.
“To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God’s immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus?” (Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 594).
Think of a question or problem you are facing. What counsel do you find in God’s Word as you seek a solution to your question or problem? Look up some Bible verses. You may ask someone else to help you find answers in the Bible to your questions. How would you help someone else who is searching for answers to life’s difficult questions to find solutions in the Bible? Write down your answers and be prepared to help someone else.