April 13, 2019
In 1787, on a ship called the Bounty, William Bligh made a voyage to the South Pacific on a mission to collect breadfruit trees. Of course, a crew of men willingly signed on for the journey when they heard it was a trip to such a beautiful place. Bligh made his friend Fletcher Christian his second in command. The men loved Tahiti so much that they didn’t want to leave. When ordered to do so, several men attempted to run and hide, but were caught and severely punished. The drama of wrenching these men from their tropical paradise soured the atmosphere on the Bounty to the point of rebellion. In 1789 Captain Bligh’s own friend Fletcher Christian instigated a mutiny that would be written about and portrayed in movies for years to come. In the middle of the ocean Bligh and those who remained faithful to him were abandoned on a lifeboat to make their own way to land.
With the captain gone it would seem that the crew would be happy. However, those left on the Bounty continued to fight about what to do and where to go. Fletcher Christian returned to Tahiti and kidnapped some women and slaves before the group made their way to Pitcairn Island. The group began to quarrel. They quickly learned to distill alcohol. Crimes became common, and by 1808 all the men except John Adams were dead, either from disease or murder. Adams was the only man left on the deserted island with a group of women and children. What does this story have to do with the Bible? Adams found a Bible that had been left on the Bounty. He pored through the passages of Scripture, and as he studied, God’s Word penetrated deep into his heart. He began to share the good news of Scripture with those in his little community. They learned of God’s love for them through this neglected Book that had simply taken up space on the ship. Twenty years later, when another ship happened upon Pitcairn Island, the crew found a happy, wholesome Christian community with no sign of the evil qualities that had brought the people to the island in the first place. Today that Bible sits on display on Pitcairn Island as a testimony of the power of God’s message to people.
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: “The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testament, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. . . In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 18-21
Read Romans 15:4.
How often do you study the Bible to see what God’s message has to say to you?
once a week
once a month
3-4 times a year
Read Psalm 119:105; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12.
God has not left us without guidance to help us navigate this life. He wants us to be with Him in heaven, and the Bible is our map. The Bible, God’s love letter to us, tells us who God is and how to have a relationship with Him. It tells us how to avoid a life of sin and how we can live full and satisfying lives in Him.
How is the Bible helping you get to know God?
How is the Bible helping you get to know yourself better?
Fill in the missing words from the word bank below.
“But you must in the things which you have and been of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from you have the, which are able to make you for through which is in Christ Jesus. Scripture is given by of God, and is for, for, for, for in, that the man of God may be, thoroughly for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-18).
Read Luke 6:48, 49.
“Nearly nine out of 10 churched teenagers said their church experience exposed them to Bible stories (95 percent), taught them about the lives of great people in the Bible (92 percent), and gave them fun experiences related to religion (89 percent). But only half (53 percent) said their church experience helped them understand the Bible well enough to help them make decisions based on biblical principles.”— From “Real Religion,” Christian Parenting Today (Winter 2003).
What do you think the problem is? Why does it seem so hard to live out the truths in God’s Word and put them into practice? Perhaps we forget why Jesus has given us the Bible—that the messages are there to help us. The Bible was meant to be a foundation for us to build our lives on. To illustrate this point, Jesus told the parable of the man who built his house on a rock. He said, “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock” (Luke 6:48). Of course, the opposite is true of the person who hears God’s Word but doesn’t put it into practice—“But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:49).
How can we integrate the messages of Scripture into our daily lives? Have you discovered God’s voice through His Word? You may know which day is the Sabbath but haven’t truly found Sabbath rest. You might know what happens when a person dies, according to Scripture, but have you ever had shared the words of Scripture with someone who was grieving the loss of a loved one?
It may be that the missing link in our communication with God is learning how to allow and apply His Word in shaping the way we live each moment.
“Every revelation of God to the soul increases the capacity to know and to love” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 20).
Match the verse to the correct reference. All verses are taken from the New King James Version.
2 Peter 1:20, 21; Romans 15:4; John 20:30, 31; Hebrews 1:1, 2; Psalm 102:18; Proverbs 30:5, 6.
|“. . . that a people yet to be created may praise . . .”|
|“. . . spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets . . .”|
|“. . . holy men of God spoke as they were moved . . .”|
|“. . . He is a shield to those who put . . .”|
|“. . . written for our learning . . . “|
|“. . . written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ . . .”|
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
Review the memory text.
Justine received weekly letters from her grandmother who lived across the country. There were coupons, newspaper clippings, interesting happenings and comments about the weather in each letter. While at summer camp she received a typical letter from Grandma. Someone in her cabin noticed the letter and asked about it. Her response was short and glib. “My grandma is always sending me this stuff. Every week I get a letter from her with all this stuff in it. I never know what to do with it.” The fellow camper said, “Well, it’s obvious that she loves you very much.” Those words struck Justine in a powerful way. She had never thought about why her grandma would write so often. With new understanding she began to look forward to her grandmother’s letters and read each one with joy and happiness.
Maybe the reason God has spoken through the Bible needs to sink into your heart today. If you would be reminded of God’s message through His Word, how would it change the way you read it? Understanding the purpose of Scripture can provide the right attitude in which to read and study it. It’s a letter from Someone who dearly loves you. The stories and lessons in the Bible will help our faith to grow. God longs for us to give Him our hearts so He can transform us and make us ready to live eternally with Him. How important is the Bible to you?
“The more we know of God, the higher will be our ideal of character and the more earnest our longing to reflect His likeness” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 19).
Read Romans 10:17.
There are two basic questions to ask yourself as you study the Bible. Take time to listen to God as you read His Word this week and think about these two questions as a framework for your study. Journal your thoughts about what God is trying to say to you, and plan a course of action for how you might apply that to your life this week.
What is God saying to me in this passage?
How am I going to apply what I learned from this Bible passage?